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Chile's upcoming vaping legislation sets the bar high for neighbouring countries - with significant gains made by THR advocates, what does this mean for Chilean vapers?


0:00 - Intro with Joanna Junak
0:33 - Big win for vaping activists in Chile
2:20 - How far does this legislation go?
3:55 - THR advocates bring the science to lawmakers
6:54 - Chile's road map for South America
8:09 - And what about flavours?
9:50 - When will this legislation come into force?
11:46 - Closing remarks


00:00:13 --> 00:00:40

Joanna Junak: Hello and welcome. I'm Joanna Junak and this is GFN News on GFN.TV. In today's program Ignacio Leiva, a multimedia journalist and founder and president of AsoVape Chile, will tell us what has changed in Chile regarding the use of safer nicotine products since February. Hello Ignacio. Can you tell us about the most recent changes around vaping legislation in Chile?

00:00:41 --> 00:03:50

Ignacio Leiva: More than changing, we advanced a lot. As we talked last time, we were in the middle of the process of creating a regulation in Chile. It was a very tough fight there. It was very long. It still is, but it started this time in 2018. and we are finishing now, so it's a lot of time fighting for this law. It went through all the processes, first the Chamber of Senators, then it went to the Chamber of Deputies, then it went back to the Chamber of Senators, and that was like in very short term what happened and finally we were able to win it. In terms of winning, you never get all what you want in a regulation. It's not perfect, but there is a lot of good stuff that we were able to change. Then when the project of law advanced and got to the deputies, we were able to start talking and being part of it. And then in a very, very long process that took like three or four years, we were able to change most of the project. And finally, we got a project. As I said, it's not perfect. We have very good things on it. The advertisement was not forbidden, was restricted. It make a huge difference. It totally divide e-cigarettes from tobacco products what was totally the opposite of what they wanted. Now we have a totally different regulation. Even if we are in the tobacco law, it was stated in the second article that they are totally different things and the things that apply to tobacco does not apply to e-cigarettes unless it's said that it's applied to e-cigarettes. We were able to get flavors out of the conversation. We were able, and this one, it's one very important, because we were able to change this statement of the 20 milligrams that have no science under it. It's like, why 20? And no one can give an answer. And the only answer that you can get, it's based in a study that was put back by the same person that made the study, so there is nothing. We were able to find that and we will have a very strange number, as strange as the 20, but we will have a nicotine amount of 45 milligrams. More than the number, it's important that we were able to break this statement that it should be 20 milligrams.

00:03:50 --> 00:03:55

Joanna Junak: Thank you, Ignacio. So can you summarize the key points of the project?

00:03:55 --> 00:06:44

Ignacio Leiva: This project was, at least the discussion, was totally enforced by harm reduction. We were working a lot in making the deputies and senators to understand not only that it has to do with vaping, it has to do with harm reduction as a political way to face the problems of health. And we advance a lot and we gather a lot of deputies especially supporting our position. Other of the things that this project have is that we were able to stop the maximum amount of milliliters in a bottle. They were trying to put 10 ml for liquids with nicotine or without nicotine. Other good stuff is that the warnings in the packaging will be totally different from cigarettes, something that is happening in many countries like in Costa Rica, where you buy a product of e-cigarettes and you have someone with cancer or some other illness that have nothing to do with vaping. We were able to totally divide that. And the most important thing is that finally getting this regulation, it's put off this, wait a second, I lost the word, this decree from the Minister of Health that was placed on 2010 that makes the nicotine to be sold only by pharmacies. It put it as a med product, what was actually a way to stop vaping in Chile. This stuff will put away that, so we will finally have a normal market and we will be in good way. Just to be clear, this law is not yet applied. We are in the step that they are... One, two, three, four, five. six steps of votes in the Chamber of Senators and in the Chamber of Deputies. We win every single vote, 100% of votes approving the project of law, which is super good. Now we are waiting for the signature of the President, And we expect that in February this project of law will become finally a law and we will be able to really open the bottles of champagne and have a very big party.

00:06:44 --> 00:06:53

Joanna Junak: And what influence will this project have on other countries in Latin America? And why is its approval so important?

00:06:53 --> 00:08:10

Ignacio Leiva: Especially in our region. Chile, it's still seen as a serious country that do the things well, even if it's going a little dark the situation there. We're still seeing as a country that should be followed in many ways. Also, it's important because there are at least two or three countries very close to Chile that are now actually discussing in the chambers of deputies, senators, or congresses, depending on the country, that are now in the process. We're talking about Peru, Colombia, now even if it's banned in Brazil, the talk is being opening, so for sure Chile will be an example that there are other ways to approach the situation of regulation, seeing the harm reduction as a very big tool that can save a lot of lives. Not to say so that it will save a lot of money to the government too.

00:08:10 --> 00:08:17

Joanna Junak: Let's get back to flavoured vapes. Does the project include restrictions on flavoured products?

00:08:17 --> 00:09:50

Ignacio Leiva: Indeed. But we were able to get it out of the project. There is no restrictions in flavor. We were able to make them understand. I mean, the deputies, you will never make understand nothing to the anties. They are still keep going badly. We have a lot of anties inside of the minister of health. Actually, with some we have someone in the in the commission against tobacco that it's directly connected with Bloomberg. We have proof of that. It's not a thing that it can be said. She's called Lydia Morales. She has been receiving a bunch of money from tobacco free kids. I don't know why I forget the name, but you know what I'm talking about. And she has a very close relationship with this woman that is the lawyer or the chief of lawyers of Tobacco Free Kids. And this same woman was caught in Mexico trespassing the line, putting projects from Bloomberg directly to the deputies. There was a big scandal in Mexico some years ago. and the same person have really big connections with the one that I'm talking to you and that one is someone that we have inside of the Ministry of Health now.

00:09:50 --> 00:09:56

Joanna Junak: So, as you mentioned, the project is waiting for the President's signature, right?

00:09:56 --> 00:11:47

Ignacio Leiva: Yeah, actually it shouldn't be any surprise there because it went with, as I told you, I forget the name, but I'm sorry, but 100% of the votes in all of the process were supporting the project. And that not only means the commission, it also means the plenary of both chambers. So it's quite difficult for a president to put a veto because that's the only option that he has now to put a veto. It will be very funny too if he put a beto in the project because when the actual president was deputy, he signed up one of the projects that support vaping during this process between 2018 and the time that we are now. He was deputy in that time and he was supporting vaping, so it's kind of difficult. I don't think that Bloomberg have enough money to make a president to put a veto, knowing that it will make a very big problem with the chamber of deputies and the chamber of senators. It's quite to get into a big fight for that reason. So we are waiting. We hope that during these days, could be signed. There is no time limit, but normally it takes around two months to finish the process. And we're expecting to have it soon. We hope, but we just need to wait now. And then expecting that he signed it during these weeks. We expect that it should become a law on February of next year.

00:11:47 --> 00:12:02

Joanna Junak: Thank you, Ignacio. That's all for today. Tune in next time here on GFN TV or on our podcast. You can also find the descriptions of each episode on the GFN TV website. Thanks for watching or listening. See you next time.