A call to develop the vaping industry in Madagascar
The electronic cigarette, for the moment, is still inaccessible for the majority of Malagasy people. For a country that wants to embrace industrialization, it is high time to develop vaping to effectively reduce smoking.
With around 10% smoking, Madagascar still remains one of the countries least affected by smoking. Countries like Europe and the United States are stagnant at 15 to 20%, but we can always do more to reduce this scourge to reduce it to less than 5%. Electronic cigarettes exist in Madagascar, but the sector is still far too informal, prices are often inaccessible to reach the people who smoke the most, ie the poor.
Conventional measures like those of the WHO meet with dismal failure, year after year. Raising the price of cigarettes does not work, measures based on demonization, criminalization and stigmatization of smokers do not work and will never work.
The first electronic cigarette appeared in 2003 and it has been more than 18 years since this smoking cessation tool has proven itself. But there are many enemies. Corrupt doctors and scientists, governments that do not want to let go of the precious tobacco taxes that fill their coffers, aberrant Puritanism to demonize nicotine more than anything.
Foreign entities, powerful, rich, want to destroy the electronic cigarette by all means. The United States in the lead, wants to decapitate this industry by all means, as I explain in a book I wrote on this subject called La vape qui dérange meaning The Inconvenient Vape (in french).
To counter these attacks and lower the price of vaping, sovereignty is a crucial step. Madagascar has all the industries to manufacture the components of the vape, whether for liquids and devices. It will also create new jobs and new sectors that will effectively fight against smoking.
Malagasy authorities must abandon WHO’s blind and totally corrupt advice on the demonization of e-cigarettes and take inspiration from countries like the UK which officially promotes vaping as a harm reduction tool. With this tool, but also follow-up therapies, the UK wants to become a tobacco-free country by 2030.
I don’t know if that’s possible, but if Madagascar can drop from 10% to 8% of smoking thanks to vaping, then that would already be a huge step forward.