e-cigarettes, e-shisha banned in Oman
December 13, 2015 | 1:47 PM
by Hasan Shaban Al Lawati [email protected]

Muscat: Electronic cigarettes and electronic shisha (hookah) are now banned in Oman in keeping with a decision taken by the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACA).

The electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, a battery operated cigarette-like device, which produces nicotine vapour, is one of the many products that smokers try to kick their tobacco addiction.

Traders should remove all stock of e-cigarettes and e-hookah from shops in Oman in the interest of safeguarding public health.

Under the new ruling, a fine of OMR500 will be imposed on violators who trade in illegal cigarettes.

“The fine will be doubled in case of a repeat violation,” the decision read. A repeat violation would attract a fine of OMR100 for each day of violation.

“This ban came into effect as there is no scientific proof that e-cigarettes help cure addiction or are a better alternative to real traditional cigarettes,” said Dr Jawad Ahmed Al Lawati, director of the Department of Non-communicable Diseases Control at the Ministry of Health.

Al Lawati added that many cases of deadly explosions were reported due to people smoking e-cigarettes.

“They cause throat irritation. e-cigarettes include nicotine which causes fast and irregular heartbeat and increases blood pressure,” Al Lawati added.

He stressed that authorities should also consider banning smokers from smoking indoors as the risk that negative smoking poses is higher and children could be affected.

Meanwhile, e-cigarette users do whatever they can to lay their hands on the device. “I haven’t had a real cigarette in three weeks and I feel a lot better. I have more energy and it is easier to breathe.

“I have regained my sense of smell and taste and have no desire to smoke a real cigarette. But I just wish e-cigarettes were readily available in the Sultanate,” one such user of e-cigarettes said.

Not all e-cigarette users are able to quit smoking tobacco.

Another e-cigarette user said, “I have tried them, but I didn’t derive the same satisfaction as I did from the conventional cigarettes. So I gave it up and went back to smoking tobacco.”

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