The government of Myanmar has approved a complete ban on vapor products. Experts now say consumers will be forced to look towards the black market or return to combustible cigarettes.
The bill to ban e-cigarettes and shisha won cabinet approval and unanimous support in the lower house five months after it was proposed by by San Shwe Win, a physician representing Yegyi in Ayeyarwady region, according to a story on coconuts.co.
“Today, e-cigarettes and shishas are easily accessible at most bars, nightclubs, [karaoke clubs] and other modern tea shops, restaurants and stores in Myanmar – for all ages and genders. It has become even more popular, and that’s a threat for all the young people out there,” San Shwe Win said at a government meeting.
Vaping has been popular in Myanmar since around 2017, where it has been falsely promoted as a means to quit smoking tobacco. Vape shops have proliferated in Yangon, and smoking pens have become stylish accessories.
Last month, a Myanmar Custom Department petitioned to approve the import of e-cigarettes but was rejected by the Ministry of Health and Sports.