• May 26, 2024

Taiwan to ban e-cigs

 Taiwan to ban e-cigs

A draft amendment to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, which Taiwan’s Executive Yuan is due to approve and submit to the legislature on Thursday, is set to ban the manufacture, import, sale and advertising of electronic cigarettes, according to a story in the Taipei Times.

Under the amendment, the manufacture and importation of e-cigarettes would be punishable with a fine of between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000, while the sale of e-cigarettes and their use in non-smoking areas would be punishable with a fine of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000.

E-cigarettes are currently banned through an order issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, but the ban is not codified in the act, leaving legal wiggle room.

“It is estimated that between 60,000 and 70,000 junior and senior-high school students in Taiwan have used e-cigarettes,” said cabinet deputy spokeswoman Chang Hsiu-chen. “Teenagers who have used them are six times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes, so the government must ban e-cigarettes to protect teenagers’ health.”

Chang said too that because e-cigarettes contained nicotine, they were addictive. The World Health Organization had advised their regulation.

“The possession and use of e-cigarettes is legal, but should be regulated as regular cigarettes, meaning that people under 18 and pregnant women are prohibited from using e-cigarettes, and it is illegal to use them in non-smoking areas,” Chang said.

Meanwhile, the amendment is due also to ban flavored cigarettes and to require cigarette producers to increase the size of graphic health warnings to 85 percent, whereas, under current regulations, the warnings take up 35 percent.

Finally, the amendment requires the government to provide legal and medical assistance to people who sustain injuries or damage to their property after attempting to dissuade people from smoking or refusing to sell cigarettes to underage people.