VPASA Communication

Discussion in 'Vaping Legislation' started by Silver, 4/8/21.

  1. Silver

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    Silver Flavour and throat hit seeker Staff Member Administrator ECIGSSA Donor VIP

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    Am going to share some of the VPASA communication I receive on their behalf

    For those who don't know, VPASA is the Vapour Products Association of South Africa

    They are a body that represents the vaping vendors in SA. They have been in existence for several years and were exhibitors at a few VapeCon events. Their CEO is Asanda Gcoyi.

    This is the way they describe themselves on their website:
    "Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) represents manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of smoke-free vapour products in South Africa. We have come together to work with government and other stakeholders to develop legal regulations and standards for our industry and to ensure that consumers have access to all available information about vapour products."

    You can check them out here:
    www.vpasa.org.za

    Our very own @Rob Fisher is helping them too

    I think its good to keep an eye on what they're doing. They are trying to do the right things for our industry.

    upload_2021-8-4_5-48-43.png
     
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  2. Silver

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    August 2021 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    South Africans continue to face many challenges and the recent spate of unrest is yet another example fraught with the complexities of our country’s ongoing grapple with socio-political and economic tensions. As an organisation built on community, we would like to proffer our support to those affected by the events and implore you to share any information about vaping businesses that may have been affected.

    A challenge we as a community continue to face is that of the misinformation and disinformation surrounding vaping. Just this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report that recommends governments better regulate vapes and e-cigarettes, which the organisation claims could be a gateway to tobacco consumption.

    With the Conference of the Parties (COP9) around the corner, we are disappointed that the WHO is once again ignoring the science that points to the benefits of vaping as a tool for harm reduction. Instead, we are fully aligned with the rhetoric of the United Kingdom Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) that asserts the report is regressive and does not take into account the benefits of harm reduction that the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) initially proposed, as an approach to lessening the health burden of combustible tobacco.

    In keeping with our promise to follow the science and collaborate with our members, the South African vaping industry will soon have an updated and honest reflection of its market contribution to South Africa’s economy. Following the separate consultation process in May with the Department of Health on the socio-economic impact assessment (SEIA) study on tobacco and related products, VPASA undertook its own economic impact assessment study, which will be released to the public soon.

    We have furthermore reconnected with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to implement vaping standards for our industry. Thus far, we have submitted names to form part of the sub-committee on standards; the process has included a consideration of all industry players to ensure the industry receives fair and impartial representation, and we hope it will be finalised by the end of the year. This is yet another step that we are taking to ensure that our industry operates to the highest standards.

    As always, we encourage you to continue to engage with us on all these topics – whether via questions or suggestions.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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  3. Puff the Magic Dragon

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    Puff the Magic Dragon Grumpy Old Vaper

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    rhetoric ?

    "Rhetoric is speaking or writing that's intended to persuade. ... When people listened eagerly to long speeches and studied them in school, rhetoric was generally used positively; now it is often a negative term, implying artfulness over real content."
     
  4. Silver

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    agreed @Puff the Magic Dragon , I think a better word to use would have been ‘view’
     
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  5. Silver

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    September 2021 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    You will recall that last month, I mentioned VPASA was in the process of compiling data from our own economic impact assessment study and I am pleased to let you know that the report has now been completed.

    The Economic Impact of the Vaping Industry in South Africa report is an updated and honest reflection of our sector’s market contribution to the South African economy. The report, along with supporting visuals, will be launched to the media and to our community this month. We think you will find the results to be quite eye-opening, and we do hope you are able to share these findings with your own networks across social media as soon as they go live.

    Additionally, VPASA is working with a consultant to expedite the process of adopting vaping standards for our industry, benchmarked with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Our preferred approach has always been to amend the standards in line with our local requirements, however, we have subsequently been informed that an imported standard cannot be amended prior to adoption. The good news is that the standard does not become operational until all amendments have been made and will mean the adoption of the standard will not affect local trading conditions until all amendments have been accepted.

    In early September, we will be attending the first stakeholder meeting by SABS, along with other relevant stakeholders. The feedback from this engagement will provide clarity on what we should anticipate and work towards, and we will ensure we keep you informed of all developments relating to the vaping standards.

    Also taking place in September is a webinar presentation titled Disruptive Innovation: The New Face of Free Market Revolution, which will take place on Thursday, 9 September. We would like to urge you to attend this event, which will cover international best practices in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. The session promises to be enlightening and we are looking forward to further exploring how we can include some of those countries’ best practices in South Africa’s regulatory framework.

    Please continue to engage with us on all these topics and more – whether via questions or suggestions.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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  6. Rob Fisher

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  7. Silver

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    October 2021 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    Last month, we launched an updated and honest reflection of our sector’s market contribution to the South African economy. The Economic Impact of the Vaping Industry in South Africa report highlights important data that supports our ongoing efforts to include international best practices in South Africa’s regulatory framework. Among these are the fact that the industry generated 3,800 jobs, paid R280 million in taxes and had a R390-million gross value-added contribution to the economy in 2019 alone – and that was just its direct impact. A broad overview of the sector shows its support of an additional 4,200 jobs, and a 40% and 31% spend with two adjacent industries – financial and business services and manufacturing.

    These numbers are nothing to scoff at.

    Despite this, and the myriad studies and research pointing to vaping being 95% less harmful than traditional tobacco products, the South African government and media are hesitant to consider anything less than the status quo. This should not discourage us.

    Instead, we must broaden our call for evidence-backed, scientific news to be published; news that will assist vapers and current and former smokers to receive important information related to reducing the harmful effects of tobacco and providing them with alternative options that are less harmful. To this end, VPASA continues to strive towards expediting the process of adopting vaping standards for our industry, benchmarked with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

    The Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) which took place last week had speakers echo the above sentiment quite succinctly. A member of the House of Lords and the parliamentary science and technical committee, Lord Matt Ridley mentioned that life was replete with examples of activities less harmful than the alternative, yet politicians banned and overregulated harm-reducing nicotine replacement products. You can read the piece for more takeaways from the GTNF covered by Chris Bateman for Medical Brief South Africa via the link under vaping news.

    Please continue to engage with us on all these topics and more – whether via questions or suggestions.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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  8. Silver

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    November 2021 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    As we kick off November, our focus as VPASA has been firmly on the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) which takes place between 8 and 13 November.

    The Conference of the Parties is an extremely important event in that it will ultimately decide on wide-sweeping regulations for the vapour products industry. Despite this, the industry has no involvement whatsoever in discussions or decisions. The COP is the authoritative decision-making body of the Convention and all countries who are ratified to the Convention will be required to account for the recommended guidelines.

    Many organizations working in harm reduction and tobacco control have already expressed their concerns about the WHO’s decision-making process. As VPASA, we share these concerns. The WHO’s position on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), classes them as similar to tobacco products, which fails to take into account the risk-reduced benefits they offer.

    Last month, VPASA wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa, to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, and to Parliament to highlight our concerns about COP9’s undemocratic and one-sided processes, which we believe will produce regressive outcomes for smokers and those who have quit smoking in favour of ENNDS products.

    We have requested that South Africa adopts a measured approach during COP9 and that the President commits to working with countries like Canada, France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, who are taking an evidence-led approach to tobacco harm reduction and who have included vapour products in their strategies to reduce tobacco harms.

    As part of these COP9 initiatives, VPASA hosted a diginar which took place on Tuesday, 2 November ahead of COP9. The panel included leading independent experts in the fields of health and public policy, such as Health Professions Council of South Africa President Dr Kgosi Letlape, UKVIA Director John Dunne, New Zealand behavioural scientist Dr Marewa Glover as well as Director of Counterfactual, Clive Bates. Topics that were discussed include:
    • WHO Decision-making: Whither Democracy? Outcomes of APPG Inquiry,
    • Tobacco Harm Reduction: Role for ENDS? The Case of New Zealand,
    • Ideology Driven Regulation for ENDS: What is the Impact on Least Developed and Middle Income Countries? Should the FCTC be Reconsidered?,
    • South Africa as Leader in Tobacco Control: Standing Up for the Rights of Poor Smokers.
    The diginar was and is still open to the public, and I urge those of you interested in the topic to watch the session and engage with us about what we believe was a very enlightening discussion. Find the link to the recording below.

    We welcome your continued engagement on topics affecting and impacting our industry and encourage you to continue to submit questions or suggestions.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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  9. Silver

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    December 2021 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    Another year has passed and with it, many engagements on global regulations for electronic vapour products (EVPs) and electronic nicotine delivery systems/electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS).

    Last month saw the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), where, as suspected, the WHO stood firmly by their position that EVPs and ENDS/ENNDS must be classified in the same way as tobacco products. This is despite numerous studies over the past few years proving that harm reduction is an effective tool and can go a long way to reducing the burden of an already stretched healthcare system.

    Additionally, the South African delegation reportedly came away from the conference having dismissed tobacco harm reduction as a strategy. This is extremely concerning, especially as South Africa views itself as a nation that looks to science first. This was clearly illustrated over the weekend when the Presidency slammed countries that imposed a travel ban on South Africa after our scientists discovered the new omicron variant of COVID-19. If our government wishes to not be hypocritical in their approach to look to science first, our Department of Health should also not punish vapers and former smokers for pursuing less harmful alternatives to tobacco.

    In light of this, there is still plenty of work to be done in the new year to ensure adequate education about less harmful alternatives to tobacco and harm reduction overall. VPASA aims to continue forging ahead with our efforts for recognition of vapour products as a harm reduction alternative to combustible cigarettes.

    While we must ensure we keep our eyes on the end goal, we must also take this moment to reflect on the many significant achievements this year. Most specifically, our youth access prevention campaign in the second quarter, which received widespread media attention and was praised as a forward-thinking initiative despite the industry still being unregulated. In 2022, we will continue to amplify this message while ensuring vapour products remain available to adult users looking for a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

    And of course, we must thank you, our community of members, for your support throughout the year – whether this was through attendance at events, sharing of stories, following and reposting our content and encouraging fellow vapers to get involved.

    As we say farewell to another year, we wish you a joyous festive season and happy holidays.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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  10. Silver

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    January 2022 VPASA Newsletter

    Dear Subscriber

    At the start of 2021, we proclaimed that we would fight the good fight of tobacco harm reduction – a promise we are proud to say we kept and will continue to do as we face 2022.

    January is a time of reflection and planning for the future, which is why we want to use this moment to thank you for your continued support in our efforts to demonstrate the critical difference between electronic vapour products (EVPs) and electronic nicotine delivery systems/electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS). Over the past year, we have further seen how the South African vaping industry can contribute to both the fiscus and the betterment of the lives of millions of smokers seeking harm-reduced alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
    The year ahead will see a continuation of our core objectives:
    • Promoting vaping as an alternative and less harmful modality to cigarette smoking
    • Lobbying for fair, balanced and scientific regulation of the vaping industry
    • Educating consumers about EVPs and ENDS/ENNDS and their harm-reduced benefits
    • Promoting the responsible adult use of vapour products
    • Promoting the prevention of youth access to vapour products.
    It is our hope to once more run our Youth Access Prevention campaign in 2022, as this was an extremely successful project that helped garner further attention and support for our main cause. While we discontinued our Vaping Conversations series of webinars in 2021, we will be bringing other exciting webinars to you in 2022 – please do keep a look out for more information on these and participate where possible. It is only through our collective efforts that we can make a real change in the lives of vapers, former smokers and those still seeking less harmful alternatives to combustible tobacco.

    Our fight has become even more challenging as the National Treasury (NT) has published a discussion paper on the taxation of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems on 15 December 2021. Their deadline for comments on this proposal is for 25 January 2022.

    We trust you’ve had a relaxing break and are ready to once again join hands with us as the industry faces its next bout of challenges.

    Sincerely,

    Asanda Gcoyi, CEO
     
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