The UAE’s vaping industry must do more to support official government efforts aimed at blocking trade in counterfeit and unregulated e-cigarettes and preventing sales to minors, a leading retailer says.

The sale of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and e-liquids has been legal in the UAE since April 2019 under mandatory regulations laid down by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).

But one of the UAE’s most prominent vape retailers, My Vapery, says dealers should work together to support official efforts aimed at preventing potential health threats, and keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of under-21-year olds.

The company wants to work with the organisers of the first World Vape Show taking place in Dubai in September to help the industry self-regulate, and spotlight vaping as a less harmful alternative to tobacco smoking, leading to improved public health.

“As retailers, we must all place a bigger emphasis on supporting ESMA and the Police in their efforts to stop the random circulation of counterfeit and unregulated vaping products which can pose health threats,” said the company’s Marketing Manager, Atif Amin.

“It’s vital that we work together closely to prevent e-cigarettes from being sold to underage consumers. The arrival of a new industry platform in Dubai gives us a perfect chance to educate the industry on the standards needed to provide greater consumer protection.”

Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 19-21 September, the World Vape Show connects manufacturers, retailers, public health professionals and vape enthusiasts from around the world. The combined exhibition and conference will showcase new vaping technology and the range of regulated products now meeting the demand for safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

“This is a great opportunity to discuss and build on the precautions we take to check the authenticity and safety of all product samples received from overseas suppliers,” said Amin. “We’ll work with the organisers to share this experience, and the procedures we take to avoid the sale of products directly to under 21-year-olds, and to individuals suspected of buying on behalf of minors.”

Amin says My Vapery is particularly careful to guard against underage sales at locations where young people gather in large numbers, like Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence and Kite Beach. Less than two years after launching, the company will increase its UAE network to 14 outlets in the next month, with

new locations at Ibn Battuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdiff City Centre and Nakheel Mall adding to the current nine in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s encouraging to see a leading retailer taking the initiative to set standards for the industry in this way, and create a key area for discussion at the event,” said Jake Nixon, Event Manager, World Vape Show, Quartz Business Media.

“The show is an important platform allowing the industry to analyse itself and the major issues it faces, and to educate manufacturers, retailers and vapers on the importance of safety and the need for strong regulations, and more research, to protect consumers.”

The World Vape Show will gather more than 200 vape brands, up to 50 expert speakers, several thousand industry professionals, vape enthusiasts and those looking to switch from cigarettes. Experts speaking at the Future of Vape Conference will debate innovations, regulations, and industry outlook across the MENA region, with a panel discussion focussing on vaping research and public health.

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