Half of the 10 countries in ASEAN have implemented bans on e-cigarettes and vaping products, Malaya Business Insight reported, citing an assessment by the Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).
Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, and Thailand currently ban the sale and use of vapes and e-cigarettes, according to SEATCA.
Meanwhile, Myanmar and Vietnam do not ban these products. On the other hand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines regulate vapes and e-cigarettes with regulations. SEATCA has called on these countries to implement stricter regulations on these products.
According to a report from the National University of Singapore, A Global Health White Paper Series 2021 reveals the exciting development of the e-cigarette industry in Southeast Asia. Although relatively new, the industry has experienced significant growth in several markets in the region. In 2019, e-cigarette products were available in six Southeast Asian countries/regions, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with a total market value of $595.3 million (USD).
The e-cigarette market in the region is estimated to grow by 29%, reaching a total market value of $766.3 million by 2023. The e-cigarette market in the Philippines and Vietnam has been growing steadily since 2013. Meanwhile, growth in Indonesia and the Philippines is predicted to be particularly strong, with Indonesia having the potential to overtake Malaysia as the largest e-cigarette market in Southeast Asia by 2021.
The e-cigarette industry has launched a very aggressive marketing campaign aimed at luring young people into a high-risk habit. These efforts rely heavily on social media, concerts, and sporting events to influence the younger generation.
While they may seem trivial at times, e-cigarettes actually pose serious risks. The WHO says that when someone uses an e-cigarette, they are still inhaling the vape, which contains harmful particles and chemicals. These materials can enter the smallest airways and be absorbed by the body, causing toxic effects. In addition, the nicotine in e-cigarettes also has the potential to cause serious harm.
In addition to the risks to the smoker, the use of e-cigarettes can also harm others in the vicinity, similar to the effects of secondhand smoke on conventional tobacco smokers.
However, according to the WHO, many countries have now taken the initiative to ban the use of e-cigarettes. This action is being taken as a precautionary measure, while policymakers continue to try to gather and study the evidence, which continues to grow.
- Naval, G. (2023, October 23). 5 in 10 SEA nations ban vapes, e-cigarettes. Malaya.com.ph. https://malaya.com.ph/news_news/5-in-10-sea-nations-ban-vapes-e-cigarettes/
- THE CASE FOR TIGHTENING E-CIGARETTE REGULATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. (2021). https://sph.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Tightening-E-Cigarette-Regulations-in-Southeast-Asia.pdf
- E-cigarettes contain hazardous substances, addictive and harmful. (2023, September 28). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/thailand/news/feature-stories/detail/e-cigarettes-contain-hazardous-substances--addictive-and-harmful