Lifting of E-Cigarette Ban in Egypt Will Increase Business Opportunities and Gives Adults a Better Alternative to Traditional Cigarettes

CAIRO – RELX International, a responsible multinational electronic cigarettes company, lauds the recent decision by Egyptian authorities to allow the legal import and commercialisation of e-cigarette products in the country. The lifting of the ban highlights the Egyptian authorities’ progressive approach to e-cigarettes and sets the stage for the creation of a regulated market rich with business opportunities, through serving the demand for easily accessible, quality products by legal age (adult) consumers across the country.

The decision sees Egypt join global as well as regional markets such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have legalised and commercialised the consumption of e-cigarettes. As the understanding and acceptance of e-cigarette products grows by an increasing number of regulators and health organisations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency [1] and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK [2], the market for e-cigarettes is expected to continue its steady growth in the coming years. Global e-cigarette market revenues in 2022 reached $22.95bn as of March, and the market is expected to grow annually by 4.19% (CAGR 2022-2027) according to Statista Research. [3]

Following the move by Egyptian authorities and in line with its commitment to being a responsible vaping brand, RELX International can officially work with market stakeholders in Egypt to protect minors, legal-age smokers and vapers and economic livelihoods through the RELX Pledge Initiative. The initiative was launched in 2021 and enhances the company’s already substantial global commitment to corporate accountability. It enables the firm to contribute to communities in which it operates under three pillars: Guardian Program, Golden Shield, and Green Shoots. The initiative covers areas from product development to sales and preventing and discouraging the use of e-cigarette products by minors, through joint efforts with retailers to step up on-site identification.

“The decision by Egyptian authorities reflects its commitment to support legal businesses in the country while cracking down on the illicit trade of those products, in line with what we are seeing in an increasing number of markets around the globe. The business and investment environment in the country will significantly benefit from this decision, as will adult consumers who can now conveniently, and legally, purchase better alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

“We look forward to working with our partners to grow and protect their income via our portfolio of quality products” said Robert Naouss – External Affairs Director – MENA & Europe, RELX International.

By lifting the ban on e-cigarette products, Egyptian authorities have opened the door to a plethora of business and investment options. Authorised e-cigarette products are traditionally retailed by small- and medium-sized businesses, so the move will bolster existing businesses that sell such products, and will attract entrepreneurs wishing to set up new retail points across the country. It will likewise draw investment into the country from e-cigarette brands who wish to set up shop in the country and address the market.

Adult consumers stand to benefit from the move, as they now have legal access to e-cigarettes whether they wish to switch to a better alternative to traditional cigarettes. Several health authorities and regulators including the UK’s NHS [2] and the Ministry of Health of New Zealand have positively clarified their position on vaping as a way for people to move away from smoking combustible cigarettes [4].

In addition, the decision will contribute to the country’s economic recovery post-pandemic via the collection of tax revenues from legally imported products. Simultaneously, it will allow Egyptian authorities to clamp down on tax evasion issues associated with illegal market players. In a similar vein, the move and balanced regulation of the market offers authorities and e-cigarette vendors a path to stem the spread of inferior and dangerous black-market products that do not meet the standards and regulations outlined by Egyptian and international authorities. In doing so, adult consumers can rest assured the products they do find on sale are indeed a reliable alternative to traditional cigarettes.

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