Muscat – Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) has doubled the penalty for selling electronic cigarettes and e-shisha from RO500 to RO1,000.
Decision No 756/2023 issued by Salim bin Ali al Hakmani, Chairman of CPA, recently bans the trade of e-cigarettes and e-shisha, and their accessories.
Without prejudice to the penalties stipulated in the Consumer Protection Law, the decision stipulates an administrative fine not exceeding RO1,000 for anyone who violates its provisions. The fine will be doubled in the event of the violation being repeated.
If violations continue, an administrative fine of RO50 will be imposed for each day, provided that it does not exceed RO2,000.
The decision was issued on December 31 and will be effective from the day following its publication in the Official Gazette.
In 2015, CPA issued two decisions – one banning import of e-cigarettes and e-shisha and the other prohibiting trading in these, with penalties as high as RO500.
In a recent interview with Muscat Daily, Dr Jawad al Lawati, a senior consultant in public health focused on tobacco control, said, “There are no definitive studies yet clearing vaping of health risks. However, its many pitfalls are apparent. Some vaping devices contain nicotine, increasing risks of passive smoking and introducing children to the habit.”
Dr Lawati emphasised that while vaping is marketed as a ‘healthy’ alternative to conventional smoking, sufficient research on the subject is lacking. Alarmingly, with nearly 20,000 flavours available to vapers, children are often lured to these enticing aromas.
Highlighting the risks, in February 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,807 cases of vaping-associated lung injuries and 68 resultant deaths.