Vaping in Madagascar: Call to develop the electronic cigarette industry
Madagascar has all the potential to develop the vape and electronic cigarette industry. This would reduce smoking in a few years. But a lack of political will and a bad ideology mean that vaping in Madagascar is totally lagging behind.
- 1 The state of smoking and the need for vaping in Madagascar
- 2 Vaping in Madagascar is still too expensive for smokers
- 3 The components of e-liquids that can be developed in Madagascar
- 4 Making nicotine for vaping in Madagascar
- 5 Thousands of jobs in perspective
- 6 Export potential of Malagasy vaping
- 7 WHO’s corrupt tentacles in Madagascar
Vaping in Madagascar deserves the attention of public authorities and industry professionals. We do not know the number of vapers in Madagascar, but I would say it is around 500 to 1000 across the country. It’s not much, but the main problem is that the vaping industry in Madagascar is totally non-existent. While the Big Island has all the potential to develop its own electronic cigarette components.
The state of smoking and the need for vaping in Madagascar
If we talk about smoking in Madagascar, we are around 8 to 9% of the population. The country is not affected very much by this scourge, because smoking in France is 19% while in the United States it is around 15%. However, we have been able to achieve this low rate of smoking when the tools to quit smoking are overpriced or non-existent. Most people quit because the price of cigarettes got too high or with willpower.
With vaping in Madagascar, it is not daring to say that we will be able to halve the smoking rate. From 10%, we will drop to 5%, which would put us in the same rank as the Scandinavian countries which are the leaders in this field. These countries are not massively using e-cigarettes, but they have other alternatives like Snus.
Vaping in Madagascar is still too expensive for smokers
The current vape industry was developed for Western consumers. Even a simple 10 euro beginner’s kit is too expensive for the poorest in Madagascar. The cigarette pack (for example, PS), is around 5,000 to 6,000 ar, or 1.5 euros. And I have already said it several times, a poor person in a poor country cannot afford the luxury of the criterion of health.
This means that you cannot convince him by just saying that “it is good for your health even though it is more expensive”. Because the poor in the poor country chooses and buys only according to what he has in his pocket. The rest doesn’t matter.
If we take the most basic electronic cigarette kit at 10 euros, and the pack of cigarettes is 1.5 euros, then that means that the most basic e-cigarette kit is 666% more expensive than pack of cigarettes. Knowing that the PS brand of cigarettes represents only 10% of sales, because the brands of cigarettes Melias and Good Look are much cheaper.
The only way for vaping in Madagascar to be accessible to Malagasy smokers, and that is common sense, is to develop it locally.
The components of e-liquids that can be developed in Madagascar
The electronic cigarette is 95% less dangerous than the cigarette. You have no risk to your health by vaping. In fact, I quit smoking in 2018 and have never felt healthier. The only “problem” with e-cigarettes is nicotine addiction. But if that is a problem, then coffee should be banned, because it is also an addiction.
Cut out coffee for a day in a city and you will have riots. It cannot be repeated enough, nicotine causes no disease, has no health problems. Its only effect is an addiction that one has similarly to being addicted to coffee.
The e-liquids are based on 4 components, propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine and aromas. Of the 4, Madagascar already has everything it takes to manufacture 3 locally or import them at a lower cost. A company like MCI offers PG and VG in its catalog. Although he does offer monopropylene glycol, I think it’s the same. Flavors are easy to create and you just need to start an industry in that direction. What we lack and this is the issue of vaping in Madagascar is nicotine.
Making nicotine for vaping in Madagascar
Madagascar has its own tobacco plantations, often independent growers, but whose main buyer is Big Tobacco with the subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco. These plantations would allow us to have nicotine on site and to package it for e-liquids, whether in Free base or in nicotine salts. You need a lab and a packaging plant and that’s it. The initial investment is substantial, but the returns on investment are monstrous.
Because on the one hand, it would launch a whole new industry in Madagascar and smoking would be reduced at the same time. A virtuous circle where everyone would be a winner. We could divide the price of e-liquids by 10 compared to foreign products.
The priority of the current government is to revive the industry in all its forms. Vaping in Madagascar is a fruit that only needs to be cultivated a minimum to have a flourishing industry and which can create thousands of jobs. The other side of the electronic cigarette is the devices. Pods, atomizers and mods.
Does the country currently have what it takes to create them there? I don’t think so, but with DIY approach being the hallmark of the country in so many areas, you just need to start the industry to start the machine. The vaping devices, we can manage to order them in China. And Chinese brands can offer wholesale prices if there are enough buyers in Madagascar. The heart of the battle is to make your e-liquids on site.
Thousands of jobs in perspective
In France, there are 2,600 vape shops while in the United States, there are more than 13,400. Vape in France employs at least 10,000 people (extrapolation from vape shops) and more than 150,000 in United States. We cannot reach these figures for vaping in Madagascar. But if a new industry simply creates 1,000 jobs, ranging from manufacturing e-liquids to nicotine and vape shops, then that will always be 1,000 more jobs.
The Covid-19 crisis has hit Madagascar hard and this type of industry, while it will not do everything, can provide some momentum. In every crisis, Madagascar has come out with the informal sector, little people in their corner who are doing their best to get by. And the vaping industry is informal by nature, which is why Big Pharma wants its skin.
And it’s not just the West. Because countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia are important players in vaping. This has allowed them to create a lot of jobs and even have an international aura. Malaysian e-liquids are consumed around the world today. And this is also another reason to develop vaping in Madagascar. For exports to neighboring countries.
Export potential of Malagasy vaping
A vaping industry in Madagascar could also benefit countries like Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles or the Comoros. In terms of vape shops, Madagascar is picking up unlike Mauritius or Reunion. Vaping is currently banned in Mauritius, but it is allowed for tourists. Which is absolute stupidity.
Reunion, benefiting from French vaping, has a dozen vape shops across the island. Vaping is also banned in Seychelles, although in 2019 there was a discussion to lift the ban. The same goes for the Comoros where vaping is non-existent. These are all export destinations for vaping in Madagascar.
And I’m not even talking about the potential for Africa. Very few African countries have a vaping industry. And even if they did develop it, they would not have the ability to grow their own tobacco and therefore, their nicotine. By having tobacco plantations, Madagascar has a masterpiece if it is willing to develop vaping and reduce smoking. However, it is wishful thinking if the country remains in WHO’s grip.
WHO’s corrupt tentacles in Madagascar
Madagascar has every interest in developing the vaping sector. However, the WHO is totally against e-cigarettes, as many of its funders are anti-vape to death and pro Big Pharma, including the Bloomberg organization which has taken full control of WHO’s smoking policies.
If Madagascar continues to follow the WHO guidelines, then vaping will never develop, it will even be banned and smokers will continue to die like crap. In the Covid-19 crisis, Madagascar proved that it could do without the WHO by deploying its own treatment, the effectiveness of which is remarkable, since mortality, despite significant epidemic peaks, has never exceeded the 1 %.
Vaping in Madagascar should not remain a marginal sector. Malagasy vapers are currently ruining themselves by buying products abroad, this is all money that escapes the Malagasy economy. Vapers must come together to encourage economic players and the government to develop vaping in the country and to propose laws promoting vaping, in order to reduce smoking.
We are already at 10% smoking, one of the lowest in the world, and with the vape, we can easily go to 5% which would place us among the pioneers in the fight against smoking and to cut the cackle to Totally corrupt and infected international organizations that continue to demonize the electronic cigarette. But for that, the vape must be as affordable as possible, especially in terms of access to nicotine, e-liquids, for the poorest among the population.