Dubai Customs Blocks e-Cigarette Consignment

DUBAI— A shipment of e-cigarettes, which arrived at the Dubai International Airport last week, was blocked by Dubai Customs following a ban enforced by the Ministry of Health.

By Martin Croucher

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Published: Sat 22 Aug 2009, 12:41 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:23 AM

The ministry had banned the battery-powered product last week after tests revealed that it could be hazardous to people’s health.

“We have acted upon the ban and stopped the goods from entering the country,” said Mohammed Mattar Al Marri, executive director of cargo operations at Dubai Customs. “Because this is a local ban, we will allow the exporter to export the shipment back to the country of origin or on to a new destination. We are not a legislative body. We work within the legal framework established by the relevant government bodies.”

Al Marri did not elaborate on the size of the shipment but added that it was relatively small because it arrived in the cargo hold of an aircraft.

Electronic cigarettes emit a fine vapour which contains a dose of nicotine. However, there have been concerns that they could be harmful to health.

In the United States, a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in anti-freeze.

A Dubai Municipality study is expected to have corroborated the findings.

“There is general agreement in the GCC Tobacco Control Committee that e-cigarette should not be circulated in the (Gulf) market as therapy,” Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of Tobacco Control Team in the MoH, had told Khaleej Times last week.

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