Dubai, UAE customs blocks e-cigarette shipment..


August 21, 2009 - The Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Municipality has said that it will recommend a ban on electronic cigarettes, as tests carried out by the municipality have found the electronic device to be a health hazard which contains carcinogens and toxic materials, according to the Khaleej Times. 'There is general agreement in the GCC Tobacco Control Committee that e-cigarettes should not be circulated in the [Gulf] market as therapy,' Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of Tobacco Control Team at the MoH has said. (Dubai to push e-cigarette ban, AMEInfo.com, 8/19/2009)

A shipment of e-cigarettes, which arrived at the Dubai International Airport last week, was blocked by Dubai Customs following a ban enforced by the Ministry of Health. The ministry had banned the battery-powered product last week after tests revealed that it could be hazardous to people’s health.

“We have acted upon the ban and stopped the goods from entering the country,” said Mohammed Mattar Al Marri, executive director of cargo operations at Dubai Customs. “Because this is a local ban, we will allow the exporter to export the shipment back to the country of origin or on to a new destination. We are not a legislative body. We work within the legal framework established by the relevant 
government bodies.”

Al Marri did not elaborate on the size of the shipment but added that it was relatively small because it arrived in the cargo hold of an aircraft.

Electronic cigarettes emit a fine vapor which contains a dose of nicotine. However, there have been concerns that they could be harmful to health.

In the United States, a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in anti-freeze.

A Dubai Municipality study is expected to have corroborated the findings (see first paragraph in this news brief).

“There is general agreement in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Tobacco Control Committee that e-cigarette should not be circulated in the (Gulf) market as therapy,” Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of Tobacco Control Team in the Ministry of Health (MoH), had told Khaleej Times last week.

Reference: Dubai Customs Blocks e-Cigarette Consignment, Martin Croucher, Khaleej Times Online, 8/21/2009.

2 comments:

  Flemming

September 2, 2009 at 6:07 AM

"In the United States, a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in anti-freeze."

Don't you just feel good about all the people you're helping to send to an early grave? Must make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

The FDA study did not find DEG to be a general component of e-cigarettes as you're implying. It was found in one cartridge by one manufacturer. And it's used in antifreeze, oooh! So is water. The question isn't what other products it's used in, the question is why it was in that one cartridge, and what its toxicity is. Clearly the 1% concentration found is above the tolerable limit of 0.1%, which is why the FDA should have taken the same measures they always take when a high concentration of DEG is discovered in a glycerin product (indeed it's a relatively common occurrance related to difficulties with the supply of glycerin and propylene glycol, but I guess that's a little too much research for a blog like this). Most recently in the news, DEG was found in certain chinese toothpastes and import restrictions were then placed on and warnings issued against those particular products - not on all toothpastes. And the FDA certainly didn't warn the public against the dangers of brushing ones teeth.

Also there are questions such as whether DEG makes it into the liquid's vapour phase at all (i.e. whether it's even a concern ), and many other relevant issues that the FDA didn't look into. What the study did find is that compared to regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are almost completely harmless, on par with other nicotine replacement products like nicotine gum (that contain the same insignificant trace quantities of the same nitrosamines, too, a byproduct of the process by which nicotine is extracted from natural tobacco).

The FDA's study of course has been widely criticised for experimental inconsistency and being scientifically unsound overall, but if you bothered to actually READ the report and not just the press release, you'd find it does actually repeat the findings of previous studies done on e-cigs that have found them not just safe in absolute terms, but actually compare them to the product they're meant to replace - real cancer sticks - finding a night-and-day difference between the two.

So while people can continue to kill themselves and others with cigarettes, this extremely promising healthy alternative is being banned. Why? Because of people like you who don't question what they're told as long as it loosely seems to fit with their agenda. Ugh, smoking bad. Device which looks like cigarette also bad. Ugh. Medicine good so big medicinal firms good. Financial ties to FDA not important. Conflicts of interest make head hurt.

I'm all for fighting the spread of evil tobacco, but evil tobacco is all the poor people are left with in Dubai. Meanwhile there are still places in the world (like the UK) where a bit of sanity still prevails and people are allowed (to an extent) to protect their own lives and the lives of their children.

  jowdjbrown

June 29, 2015 at 1:51 AM

Al Marri did not elaborate on the size of the shipment but added that it was relatively small because it arrived in the cargo hold of an aircraft.click here