The government of Hong Kong has announced plans to regulate e-cigarettes as cigarettes and other smoking products, it was revealed this week.
Under the regulation, selling vape products to minors will be banned and all packaging will be required to carry health warnings.
Advertising will also be prohibited.
The regulation also covers heat-not-burn products and manufacturers will be taxed on the tobacco component within the products.
There’s been a lot of public comment in the aftermath of Tuesday’s announcement. According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, the tobacco industry has called on lawmakers not to rely on “poor advice” from the World Health Organization (WHO) from which the Hong Kong government took its recommendations for the proposals for the new regulations. The WHO has urged countries to restrict the sale, promotion and use of e-cigarettes citing the little research that has been carried out.
In response, anti-smoking group the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) expressed disappointment over the proposed regulations, saying e-cigarettes should be banned outright, believing that e-cigarettes are a gateway for people to take up smoking, contrary to the science which suggests e-cigarettes are a vital tool for successful smoking cessation.