Jury out on e-cigarettes
A DECISION IS STILL to be made on whether the e-cigarette should be banned in public places in Barbados.
However, Minister of Health Donville Inniss said Government remained vigilant against any possible threats to public health.
“We are aware of the e-cigarette and are currently reviewing all the issues surrounding its effects on individuals, as well as any relevant legislation.
“We are still to take a definitive position on the matter, but I will say that marketers will find ways to reach out to the vulnerable in a country, and it is the duty of Government to stay one step ahead of them,” he said.
Inniss was speaking to the DAILY NATION after a special Sabbath church service at Breath Of Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Whitehall, St Michael, last week commemorating the public ban on smoking in public places.
One of the primary advocates for the ban, president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, Victor Roach, said his organisation was also monitoring the e-cigarette but was in a wait-and-see mode.
“I cannot speak to that as the FDA [United States Food and Drug Administration] has not completed its tests but I would caution against its use until those tests are done as the US is concerned about some elements [of the e-cigarette],” he said.
Roach said he understood the e-cigarette was purported to exclude cancer-causing agents but added that “a cigarette is still a cigarette” and it was still addictive.
Checks have revealed the e-cigarette is currently being sold in Barbados, although they are still relatively unknown. A number of computer retail stores around the island reported that little was known about the product. Only one retail outlet, along with the distributors, currently carries the No. 7 brand of the product.
The No. 7 brand comes in either a disposable pack or a starter kit. The disposable pack contains one non-rechargeable battery, an atomiser and four cartridges and is designed as an introduction for people who are not sure if they want to buy the product.
The starter kit consists of two rechargeable batteries, two atomisers, five cartridges, a USB charger and a regular 110-watt wall charger. Each cartridge is the equivalent of 15 to 20 cigarettes or four to five packs.