Is Vaping Legal in Nigeria?
A lot of cigarette smokers have been asking whether vaping is legal in Nigeria. Vaping has become a common practice among young Nigerians residing in major urban areas of Nigeria. Some smokers use vaping as a potential aid in quitting smoking, while others resort to it as a means to bypass the smoke-free regulations imposed on tobacco products in Nigeria. Additionally, some people engage in vaping purely for recreational purposes. The legality of vaping in Nigeria raises questions regarding the position of tobacco control laws and other enacted regulations in the country. In this article, we will explore the legal status of vaping in Nigeria.
WHAT IS VAPING?
Vaping refers to the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by an electronic device known as an e-cigarette or vape pen. Vapes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid, often called e-liquid or vape juice, to produce an aerosol vapor that is inhaled by the user. The e-liquid usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
Vaping is an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes and is often considered less harmful than smoking because it eliminates the combustion process that occurs with tobacco combustion. However, while vaping may be perceived as a less harmful option, it is not risk-free, and the long-term health effects are still being studied.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES VAPING FROM SMOKING?
Now let’s look at the difference between vaping and smoking.
Vaping, despite simulating tobacco smoking, exhibits significant differences compared to traditional smoking. Combustion of a cigarette releases thousands of chemicals, including tar and Carbon Monoxide, which are toxic and can contribute to cancer, stroke, and heart disease. In contrast, vaping exposes users to significantly fewer toxins than cigarette smoking, and there are no known severe health risks associated with vaping. However, individuals under 18 years of age should refrain from vaping as their developing brains and lungs are still vulnerable.
Regarding the impact of secondhand exposure, substantial evidence supports the notion that secondhand smoke from cigarettes poses serious harm to those around the smoker. Conversely, there is no evidence to suggest that vaping is harmful to bystanders. Nonetheless, it is advisable to avoid vaping near infants, children, and individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma.
IS VAPING LEGAL IN NIGERIA?
A lot of people especially smokers often ask if it’s legal to vape in Nigeria. Let’s see out. The answer is Yes. Vaping is permitted and considered legal in Nigeria. Currently, there are no specific laws that prohibit vaping in the country. Vaping is neither defined as an offense nor accompanied by any prescribed penalties under written legislation. According to Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a person cannot be convicted of a criminal offense in Nigeria unless it is prohibited by a written law.
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WHAT IS THE LEGAL STANCE ON VAPING IN NIGERIA?
This paragraph of the article explores the legal aspects concerning the use, sale, advertising, promotion, flavors, and regulations related to vaping in Nigeria. It also examines whether there are laws in place regarding health warnings on vape packaging, nicotine concentration, device requirements, and necessary disclosures about e-cigarettes (vapes) in Nigeria.
In contrast to tobacco products like cigarettes, which have laws restricting smoking to designated areas in indoor public places, workspaces, and specific outdoor spaces such as bars and restaurants, vaping is not subject to such regulations in Nigeria. Therefore, the use of vapes (or electronic cigarettes) is permitted and considered legal in Nigeria.
Additionally, there are no specific laws governing the sale of vapes through the Internet. Unlike tobacco products such as cigarettes, which are prohibited from being sold online, the online sale of e-cigarettes is allowed in Nigeria.
Furthermore, there is no legislation that prohibits the advertisement and promotion of vapes through various media outlets. Consequently, the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes are permitted in Nigeria. Moreover, there are no laws restricting the point-of-sale product display of e-cigarettes, thus allowing their display at point-of-sale in the country.
While tobacco products sold in Nigeria are required to feature combined picture and text health warnings on their packaging’s principal display areas, there is no legal requirement for vapes to include health warnings on their product packaging in Nigeria.
Considering the absence of laws criminalizing vaping in Nigeria, it can be concluded that vaping is legal in Nigeria according to the provisions of Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
HOW DOES VAPING ASSIST SMOKERS IN THEIR QUITTING JOURNEY?
Numerous studies suggest that vaping can aid smokers in their efforts to quit smoking by reducing nicotine intake and the associated health risks. Smokers attempting to quit may find vaping beneficial as it mimics the act of smoking tobacco without the inhalation of smoke and high levels of nicotine found in traditional cigarettes. Therefore, vaping can provide relief during cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
While vaping is considered less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes, research indicates the presence of certain harmful substances in vapes that are not found in cigarettes. However, the full extent of health risks associated with vaping is currently unknown.
HOW TO ACHIEVE FREEDOM FROM VAPING ADDICTION
If you turned to vaping as a means to quit smoking and it has helped you curb your cravings for traditional cigarettes, it may be time to consider becoming vape-free. On average, vaping for about 12 months can lead you to a point where you no longer feel the urge to smoke. To successfully break free from vaping, consider the following steps:
- Gradually reduce vaping frequency: The first step you should take is to consciously decrease the frequency at which you vape. Set achievable goals to gradually reduce your reliance on electronic cigarettes.
- Lower nicotine strength: Intentionally reduce the strength of nicotine in the e-liquid you use for vaping. This progressive decrease can help wean your body off nicotine dependency.
- Commit when ready: Only make the decision to go vape-free when you feel confident that you will not revert to smoking. Ensure you have reached a point where you are determined to stay away from both cigarettes and vaping.
If you are not a smoker aiming to quit by vaping, it is strongly advised not to start vaping. The healthiest choice remains to refrain from both smoking and vaping altogether.