The official website of the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau issued the letter on the reply to the proposal No. 2991 (medical and sports No. 324) of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC (hereinafter referred to as the “reply letter”), in response to the “proposal on the legislative prohibition of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes” put forward by the members of the CPPCC during the two sessions this year.
The reply said that in recent years, new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes have shown a rapid development trend in the international market, and the number of enterprises and consumers of new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes in China has also increased rapidly. Due to the lack of supervision system and effective measures for e-cigarettes in China, there are some problems to be solved in e-cigarettes market. For example, the product quality is uneven, contains toxic and harmful ingredients, induces consumers, especially minors nicotine addiction and so on.
The state tobacco monopoly administration attaches great importance to and pays close attention to the market development of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, and starts to study the policy measures and feasible regulation methods according to law:
First, it is clear to include heating tobacco products into the scope of monopoly management, and crack down on the illegal trade and circulation of heating tobacco products like HNB, IQOS according to law.
Second, strengthen the policy and legal research on e-cigarettes. At present, countries around the world have accelerated the introduction of e-cigarette regulatory policies. Generally speaking, the regulatory policies of various countries can be divided into prohibition, tobacco product regulation, medical product regulation, electronic product or general consumer goods regulation, etc.
The national tobacco monopoly administration has also noted that the Hong Kong SAR government has officially submitted the smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the Legislative Council, which requires the prohibition of the import, production, sale, distribution and promotion of electronic cigarettes.
In the resolution on electronic nicotine delivery system and electronic non nicotine delivery system (ENDS / ENNDS) issued by the seventh conference of the parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on tobacco control, the parties are also urged to prohibit or restrict the manufacture, import, distribution and display of electronic nicotine delivery system / electronic non nicotine delivery system in accordance with their national laws and public health objectives, sales and use.
At present, the national tobacco monopoly administration is studying the regulatory ideas and main measures of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes in major countries in the world, with a view to better implementing the regulatory requirements put forward by the conference of the parties to the Convention in the future.
Third, the circular on banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors was issued. In order to protect minors from electronic cigarettes, in August 2018, the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau and the State Administration of market supervision jointly issued the circular on banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, requiring market entities not to sell electronic cigarettes to minors. Local tobacco monopoly administrative departments, in combination with special actions such as comprehensive management around the school, urge all kinds of market subjects not to sell e-cigarettes to minors, and strive to prevent minors from being infringed by e-cigarettes.
According to the reply letter, at present, the regulations on smoking control in public places in Hangzhou and the regulations on smoking control in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone have been promulgated, which include electronic cigarettes in the supervision of smoking control in public places. The first ticket in Shenzhen was issued recently. The state tobacco monopoly administration respects and supports the relevant measures of local tobacco control legislation to include electronic cigarettes in the scope of legislation and supervision of tobacco control in public places.
Next, the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau will continue to closely communicate and coordinate with relevant departments, strengthen research and demonstration, and actively promote the introduction of control measures for new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes.
After a careful study of the response letter, you will find that the state tobacco monopoly administration has not clearly stated whether it supports the legislation to ban new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes in an all-round way. It emphasizes more on strengthening the market supervision of e-cigarettes, and the specific control measures need further research and demonstration.
After all, China is the largest vape manufacturing country, most e-cig patents are in China, and the vape industry have provided 2 million jobs for the nation. The administration isn’t willing to cut its own arm and leg.
The reply shows that e-cigarettes have been acquiesced by the government to some extent, and there is no possibility that they will be banned for a period of time at least in the near future, but there is no doubt that vape industry will be strictly managed in policy.