May 25, 2010 - Electronic cigarettes, which have experienced a small rise in popularity around the country in the last few years, will be banned in Chile come November if Congress passes regulations recently proposed by the Ministry of Health.
In Chile, over 18,000 people are consumers of the ersatz cigarette, which provides inhaled doses of nicotine by way of vaporized solution.
Although originally advertised as a healthier alternative to smoking normal cigarettes, international evidence has mounted against the supposed health benefits of the battery-powered device in recent years. Most researchers now believe that they are as dangerous as normal cigarettes.
Health Minister Jaime Mañalich hopes the new regulations will be a step toward improving Chile’s public health. “The law will help us further control tobacco consumption and make a real impact on the health of Chileans,” said Mañalich, later affirming that the cigarettes “are actually not a healthy alternative to stop nicotine addiction. We can’t help addicts by giving them another drug to be dependent on.”
Two companies in Chile sell the product: Free Smoke and Biosmoke. The former has invested US$1.5 million this year in advertising and sales in the country; the latter has invested US$1 million.
Reference: Chile’s Health Ministry Seeks To Prohibit Electronic Cigarettes Written by Santiago Times Staff
Monday, 24 May 2010 05:41 SOURCE: EL MERCURIO by Aaron Cantu (email@example.com)
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