Ban fizzles as enforcement lags

Vape and e-cigarette sales continue in Sulaymaniyah despite region-wide ban

SULAYMANIYAH — Despite a ban on electronic cigarettes, Sulaymaniyah has not seen any major crackdowns on shops selling vapes, raising concerns about enforcement and potential health risks.

The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Trade and Industry outlawed e-cigarettes in January, but a 964 investigation found vape shops operating openly in Sulaymaniyah’s Kani Bay area.

Mostly manufactured in China, the devices come in disposable and refillable varieties. Priced between 5,000 and 100,000 Iraqi dinars, they were readily available, in Kani Bay.

Shop owners claim monitoring committees only check prices and quality, overlooking banned items, while smuggling routes reportedly fuel the trade, attracting customers from other cities.

In Erbil and Duhok, many shops and sales points have been shuttered with strict enforcement of the ban. Attempts to contact the trade and market surveillance directorate in Sulaymaniyah for comment were unsuccessful.

Goran Qadir, head of the joint committees in Sulaymaniyah’s qaymqam, said market surveillance teams are still operating under previous guidelines, focusing on monitoring and implementation, rather than enforcing bans. Furthermore, authorities have restricted the opening of new shops selling vapes, rather than closing existing sales points.

A security source in Sulaymaniyah confirmed to 964media that no formal directive has been communicated to enforce any bans or close shops selling vapes, rather previous efforts have focused on preventing the use of vapes and e-cigarettes at schools and universities.

Duhok imposes ban on vapes with deadline for closure

Duhok imposes ban on vapes with deadline for closure