Members Club Exclusive Early Magazine VAPOUROUND-MAGAZINE-ISSUE-22-WEB-compressed - Page 103

perspective. “In Bahrain they have put it under the smoking sector but in the UAE they are not considering it as smoking, they are considering it as [an] anti-smoking product that will help people. They want to use it as an anti-smoking product.” However, using e-cigarette products in the country will remain in line with the use of traditional cigarettes and will only be permitted for use in designated smoking areas, though UAE doctors have already come forward to say they won’t be recommending vaping as a smoking alternative. Unsurprisingly, the prohibitive laws on selling e-cigarettes in the UAE saw a black market rise to supplying products to locals who didn’t want to buy online and it is this activity that ESMA hopes to combat when it brings in the relaxed laws. Ahmed has observed a decline in black market activity in the countries where vaping has been legalised: “The market was a mess at the beginning, you’re going to find people selling at their homes; people are selling through social media, it’s not like well- established organisations. “But now, after legalising it and having standards and regulations, they see that they can work in a proper way, the prices are not going up and down. Now they’re establishing their companies where they have the market analysis; they research, they look into the demand and so it’s changing the way that they used to work and they’re happy because they’re more stable now.” This black-market rise is something that Stuart Anderson, director of Red Box Vape noticed while he was in the UAE recently. He told Vapouround: “I’ve just spent a week in Dubai and there’s already a massive underground market of vape products, though “The UAE regulations are different From Kuwait and Bahrain. They are working close to the UK standards so that’s why they will have specifications like 10ml, they’ll have a maximum nicotine level, they’ll have caution stickers, they are following the UK perspective. They are considering it as an anti-smoking product that will help people” it’s not illegal to vape.” Stuart, together with his business partner Mark Shaw, welcome this relaxation of vaping laws in the UAE as they’d like to make Red Box a household name in the region. Stuart says: “We’re keen to expand the business globally and we see that geographical region as an area of interest to us. As a manufacturer, we’re developing product that suits the taste of that market, because it is different to the UK and Europe.” VM22 | 103