Vaping has become quite commonplace among young Nigerians living in major urban areas of Nigeria. Some smokers claim vaping may help them quit, while others do so to go around the smoke-free laws imposed on tobacco products in Nigeria. For some other people, vaping is done as a form of recreation. You wonder about the position of tobacco control laws or other enacted laws in Nigeria on vaping. In this article, we’d discuss the legality of vaping in Nigeria.
Is Vaping Legal in Nigeria?
Yes, vaping is legal in Nigeria. Currently, no law prohibits vaping in Nigeria. As no written law defines vaping as an offence nor is there a prescribed penalty for it, going by the provisions of Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence in Nigeria as long as no written law
What is the Position of the Law on Vaping in Nigeria?
In this section of the article, we’d analyze the position of the law on the use, sale, advertising and promotion, and flavours of vapes in Nigeria. We’ll also examine if there are laws addressing health warnings on vape packaging, nicotine concentration, device requirements and important disclosures about e-cigarettes (vapes) in Nigeria.
Unlike tobacco products like cigarettes where law exists to restrict smoking to designated areas in indoor public places and workspaces, and certain outdoor spaces such as bars and restaurants, there are no such laws addressing vaping in Nigeria. Therefore, the use of vapes (or electronic cigarettes) in Nigeria is allowed and legal.
There are also no laws that address the sale of vapes through the Internet. Unlike tobacco products like cigarettes that are prohibited from being sold via the Internet, the sale of e-cigarettes through the Internet is allowed.
Furthermore, no law exists prohibiting the advertisement and promotion of vapes using varied media outlets; therefore, the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes are allowed in Nigeria. Moreover, there are no laws restricting the point-of-sale product display of e-cigarettes in Nigeria, hence point-of-sale product display of vapes is allowed in the country.
Tobacco products being sold in Nigeria are required to have a combined picture and text health warning on the principal display areas of their packaging. But for vapes, no law in Nigeria imposes placing health warnings on the product packaging of e-cigarettes.
Since there are no laws criminalizing vaping in Nigeria, vaping is therefore legal in Nigeria per the provisions of Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
What is Vaping?
Whenever vapour created by an electronic cigarette is inhaled by someone, the act of vaping has occurred. Vapes (or cigarettes) are devices made up of an atomizer, battery or other sources of power, and a container which holds the e-liquid. The e-liquid is a mixture that’s usually composed of propylene, glycol and glycerin and a combination of nicotine, flavourings and other additives. The nicotine, flavourings and other additives of the e-liquid make up 5 per cent of the mixture while the propylene, glycol and glycerin take up the remaining 95 per cent.
When the button of a vape is pressed or a user puffs on the vape, the atomizer is activated, heating the e-liquid contained in the cartridge compartment, and quickly cooling it into vapour which the user then inhales. The absence of smoke when vaping and the low level of nicotine contained in the e-liquid when using a vape makes vaping a desirable option for smokers who want to quit or reduce their intake of nicotine. The NHS of the UK, through their website, believe smokers are roughly twice as likely to quit smoking through vaping than other nicotine replacement products like patches and gums.
How Does Vaping Help Smokers Trying to Quit?
Several studies maintain vaping may help smokers quit smoking as electronic cigarettes reduce nicotine intake and the health risk of smoking cigarettes. Smokers who are trying to quit may find vaping helpful in that it stimulates tobacco smoking but without the attendant smoke intake and high levels of nicotine as with traditional cigarettes. So, in times when the smoker craves a cigarette or suffers from withdrawal symptoms, vaping may provide a reprieve.
Although vaping is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, studies tell that there are still traces of harmful substances not found in cigarettes that are present in vapes. At this time, however, the health risks associated with vaping are not known.
What are the Differences Between Vaping and Smoking?
Although vaping is a simulation of tobacco smoking, there are major differences between the two actions. When a cigarette burns, there are thousands of chemicals such as tar and Carbon Monoxide released, which are poisonous and could cause cancer, stroke, heart disease and heart disease. Vaping, on the other hand, exposes users to significantly fewer toxins than cigarette smoking. More so, there are no serious health risks linked to vaping. However, people under 18 years should not vape as their brains and lungs are still delicate.
In the comparison of the effect of secondhand smoke and vaping around others, there is an abundance of evidence that secondhand smoke from cigarettes causes serious harm to people around. For vaping, no evidence exists that vaping is harmful to people around. However, it’s best not to vape around babies and children, as well as people with respiratory problems like asthma.
How to Become Vape-free
If you started vaping to quit smoking and it has helped you reduce your craving for smoking cigarettes, you should be thinking about becoming vape-free. On average, vaping for 12 months could get you to the point where you will not go back to smoking. To become vape-free, try the following:
- Reduce the frequency you vape over time
- Deliberately reduce the strength of nicotine in the e-liquid of your electronic cigarettes
- Only decide to go vape-free when you are certain you wouldn’t return to smoking again
If you are not a smoker trying to quit smoking by vaping, do not start it. The healthiest option is not to smoke or vape.