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Tighter e-cigarette regulations welcomed

Published tisdag 31 maj 2016 kl 16.21
Vaper: It must be done
(2:27 min)
An employee at a vape store in Stockholm using an e-cigarette. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.
An employee at a vape store in Stockholm using an e-cigarette. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.

Sweden may see more regulation over the use and sale of electronic cigarettes, an proposal that's tentatively welcomed by some in the growing industry.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, may soon fall under laws similar to those covering cigarettes. Right now, the nation's tobacco regulations apply to cigarettes, tobacco and smokeless tobacco. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine but no tobacco. 

That would mean e-cigarettes would be could only be sold to people 18 years and older and their use would be banned in the same places where smoking is not allowed, like bars, restaurants and workplaces.

The proposal would also place stricter rules on those who manufacture and import e-cigarette products to sell in Sweden.

Ash Abbasi manages two stores that sell e-cigarettes and handles their marketing. Abbasi also is an avid vaper, another term for someone who puffs on the device. In general, he welcomes the government effort to strengthen regulations on electronic cigarettes.

"Banning smoking outside, I think, is a very good idea. Even when it comes down to e-cigarettes," he says.

He is worried though that the government may be rushing the push to regulate e-cigarettes, which he says are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco and can help smokers quit. 

"They want to just put it somewhere," he tells Radio Sweden. "That's how it feels to me."

E-cigarettes are relatively new and scientists are still gathering evidence on their long-term effects, leaving regulators scrambling to gather data.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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