Bangladesh Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association (BENDSTA), in a press conference, voiced their opposition to the newly proposed amendments in the draft tobacco control amendment bill.
According to the association, the ban on vaping products will work against the Prime Minister's vision of creating a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.
The organisation put three-point demands to the health ministry, including recognising vaping as a "quitting tool" and separating it from tobacco products like cigarettes.
BENDSTA organized the press conference on Monday in Dhaka to provide its opinion on the proposed vaping-related clauses in the Smoking and Usage of Tobacco Products (Control) Act.
The draft amendments include a new ban on e-cigarettes or vapes, under which production, import, export, storage, sale and transportation of e-cigarettes or their parts will be prohibited.
BENDSTA president Masud UZ Zaman said banning vaping products will harm Bangladesh's goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2040. He said the proposal to ban vaping is a move that will take Bangladesh backwards and shows that the policymakers are not considering multiple credible evidence for vaping's effectiveness in reducing cigarette smoking.
"Research by UK Health Security Agency (Public Health England) found that vaping is 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking. It is surprising how policymakers can ignore such an important finding," Zaman said.
He praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's goal of making the country tobacco-free, saying his organization's goal is aligned with the Prime Minister's vision as it promotes vaping as a cigarette smoking quitting tool.
BENDSTA proposed creating a separate category for products like nicotine replacement therapy and vaping.