Hong Kong has banned import, sale and manufacture of electronic nicotine-delivery systems, but personal use is still allowed. The ban will come into effect in mid-2022, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said. The maximum penalty for offenders will be a HK$50,000 ($6,431) fine and six-month imprisonment.
The long-delayed Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed Oct. 21, “delivering a major victory for health activists and educators who have blamed the devices for encouraging smoking among young people,” according to the South China Morning Post.
While the new law targets only vape shops and the local business of vaping, consumers will still be free to use the devices, prompting some politicians to call for more aggressive measures to curb tobacco use, including banning smoking in all public places except for designated areas. Others, however, argued Hong Kong should allow reshipment of vaping products and warned the ban would hurt logistics companies.
The bill was approved by a vote of 32 to three in the Legislative Council. Two lawmakers abstained.