Taiwan Considers Banning Novel Tobacco Products

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According to the Taipei Times, the Taiwan Health Promotion Agency (HPA) hopes to ban the sale of novel tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

At the end of last month, HPA announced a revised draft of the Tobacco Hazard Prevention Act (THPA) to cover products which not currently covered by the Act. The amendment will raise the legal age for smoking and the minimum age limit for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 20 years old.

As more and more types of tobacco and atomized products are available now, the bill will prohibit all novel products in this category from being imported, manufactured, or sold to Taiwan.

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In order to strengthen the protection of second-hand smoke in public indoor places, the amendment will prohibit smoking in places previously excluded, such as semi-open restaurants and cigar shops. Smoking in bars or nightclubs will also be prohibited unless any smoking-room of the venue was equipped with a separate air-conditioning system.

The agency expressed the hope that the Legislative Yuan would pass the proposed amendment as soon as possible.

Chen Miaoxin, director of the HPA Tobacco Control Department, said that smoking in junior and high school students last year was increased since THPA came into effect in 2009.

Last year, the smoking rate of middle school and high school students increased from 2.8% to 3%, from 8% to 8.4%; the proportion of e-cigarettes used risen from 1.9% to 2.4%, from 3.4% to 5.6%.

Four out of ten respondents said that the original cigarette tastes are popular while girls prefer those rather than boys.

Chen said that teenagers are not very cautious about addictive substances, and the flavor added to cigarettes may overwhelm the spicy taste of tobacco, which increasing teenagers' curiosity and singularity, and making some people believe that flavored cigarettes are healthier than those original extents.

This article is issued by Tobacco Reporter.

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