Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE VPASA?

The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) is the self-regulating industry body of vapour product manufacturers and importers. This includes vapourisers, e-liquid and all associated products. VPASA was established in the interests of protecting the interests and wellbeing of vapour product consumers in South Africa, and as a united voice to work with Government in developing regulations for the sector.

DOES VPA WORK WITH GOVERNMENT?

VPASA strives to serve as a united, official voice to represent the industry to government, regulators, consumers, and the general public, and recognises the need for the appropriate regulation of the industry. We hope to achieve an open and productive relationship with Government and regulators in order to facilitate appropriate industry regulation as well as consistent compliance to these clearly defined regulations. We also aim to work with Government to ensure that as our industry grows and matures, it reflects the diversity and culture of South Africa.

WHO ELSE DOES VPA WORK WITH?

We are committed to working with research institutions and the medical fraternity to add to the vast and growing body of research into vapour products.

WHAT IS VAPING?

Vaping can be defined as the act of inhaling vapour through a personal vapouriser. The process involves applying heat to a substance to generate vapour. The user then inhales the vapour, which come in a variety of flavours.

WHO CAN USE OUR PRODUCTS?

Vapour products are only available to persons over the age of 18. Members of VPASA have signed a commitment to this effect, as well as committing to using only childproof bottles for vapour product liquids/materials, providing warning labels, and ensuring that specified harmful chemicals are not present in any product sold.

IS VAPING AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO SMOKING?

Over 7 000 chemicals are present in cigarette smoke. Sixty-nine of these are considered to be carcinogens, whereas another 400 are toxins including tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (CO). A new (April 2016) 200-page report by the UK Royal College of Physicians (RCP) characterises e-cigarettes as “an ideal tobacco harm reduction product”, due to their effectiveness in the absence (or negligible levels) majority of the damaging components of tobacco smoke. A University College London study found that for every million smokers who switch from smoking to vapour products, over 6,000 premature deaths would be prevented in the UK every year. The study found that if all 9 million smokers in the UK took up vapour products instead, 54,000 lives per year could be saved. There are roughly two hundred thousand South African ex-smokers that are currently using these products, instead of traditional cigarettes.

ARE VAPOUR PRODUCTS HEALTHY?

According to the World Health Organisation, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is responsible for killing six million people annually, especially among the world’s low and middle income population. VPASA considers vapour products to be the most effective alternative for smokers. We believe these products offer smokers a similar experience, devoid of dangerous smoke. The body of supporting research and knowledge in respect of the lifestyle advantages and disadvantages of vapour products in South Africa is growing. VPASA seeks to contribute to this and work in partnership with Government, regulators as well as other key stakeholders to ensure the industry is well-regulated, and that consumers have access to all available scientific and health information. With sensible regulation, vapour products have the potential to make a major contribution towards social inequalities in health.

DO VAPOUR PRODUCT LIQUIDS CONTAIN HARMFUL CHEMICALS?

The vapour that is produced from the e-liquid, the flavourant component of vapour products, does not contain the harmful by-products generated from the burning process of cigarettes. E-liquids typically contain either vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol and other natural extracts, such as mint to provide flavour. Propylene glycol and Vegetable Glycerin are recognised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an ingredient in vapour product liquid as safe for human consumption. In South Africa, it is mandatory for VPA member companies to ensure that their vapour product liquids do not contain harmful chemicals such as diacetyl or 2-3 pentadienone, which are found in cigarettes and some vapour product flavours available internationally. We are also committed to safe manufacturing processes, which would include the avoidance of potentially harmful ingredients.

ARE VAPOUR PRODUCTS ADDICTIVE?

Being addicted to smoking is harmful. Cigarettes are lethal because they burn tobacco, not because of nicotine. Vapour products offer smokers an escape from decades of addiction to smoking.

DO VAPOUR PRODUCT LIQUIDS CONTAIN NICOTINE?

The e-liquid comes packed in different nicotine strengths categorised in milligrams: ultra-light (6mg), medium (12mg), regular (18mg), and strong (24mg). There is even 0 milligrams which contains no nicotine for those who just want to vape without the nicotine. This means our customers have a wide range of choice when it comes to buying vapour products.