Taiwan proposing to ban sale of e-cigarettes

Taiwan proposing to ban sale of e-cigarettes

As leaders in global e-cigarette and e-juice space, we believe it’s important to keep tabs on international politics and laws around vaping. Usually, this means staring at the computer screen in disbelief as another country passes a law based on heresy and misinformation.

This week, it’s Taiwan. The government of Taiwan (The Republic of China), are trying to amend their Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, to effectively curtail the manufacture of all e-cigarettes and accessories.

Many other Southeast Asian nations are also enacting similar bans on e-cigarettes. In Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, sales of vaping products are banned. Vietnam and Malaysia have made the possession of vaping paraphernalia illegal.

Reason for the ban

Reportedly, the government are concerned about a recent study from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which shows a rise in youth trying e-cigarettes from 2.1% in 2014 to 3.7% in 2016 (this is “trying” an e-cigarette, mind you – not “actively vaping”). Despite all studies pointing to the contrary, officials are worried this will turn more kids into smokers.

Impact of the vaping ban

The Taiwanese Vape Association estimates that over 200,000 vapers in Taiwan will now no longer be able to find vaping supplies. Many will be forced to give up, and there’s no telling how many will then turn to smoking. This could be a huge health issue for the country.

According to Eciglink, this ban will even include e-liquid products that don’t include nicotine.

There’s also an economic impact. Over 30 Taiwanese vaping companies will need to either relocate to other countries or shut down completely.

Is Big Tobacco behind it all?

There’s lots of misinformation and junk science being bandied around in the news stories about this ban – enough to wonder if the public health story really measures up.

A type of heat-not-burn e-cigarette created and marketed by Big Tobacco company Philip Morris is exempt from the ban. The company has lobbied Asian governments so they wouldn’t classify this device as an e-cigarette.

With some 64% of the world’s tobacco sales reportedly coming from Asia, call us suspicious if the intentions of these companies might be called into question.

If this ban goes ahead but does not include heat-not-burn products (which haven’t been studied by independent researchers), the Taiwanese government are effectively handing Big Tobacco a huge win.

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