On 22nd May, the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress began. During the National People’s Congress, Gao Yu, deputy to the National People’s Congress and executive director of the Puyuwei Science and Technology Innovation Center in Chong Qing, proposed a classification of E-cigarettes as tobacco products to ban from the sale to minors and pregnant.
Gao Yu said that although China is a significant country in large scale e-cigarette manufacture and consumption, the existing legal regulation of the e-cigarette market is not complete enough. The e-cigarette market still has great management disadvantages, strengthen the management of the e-cigarette market in accordance with the law has become an important task in the current situation.
Classify e-cigarette as tobacco products and strength the market regulation via the amending Law of the People’s Republic of China on Tobacco Monopoly.
Gao said that in the past two years, with the rapid growth of e-cigarette sales, the diversification of e-cigarette liquids, e-cigarette flavors, as well as various advertisements about e-cigarettes on the Internet, the percentage of China’s youth e-cigarette use is also rising rapidly. E-cigarettes are becoming an entry-level product for young people smoke, resulting in an increase in the total number of smokers in China in the future.
At present, the regulation of e-cigarette in China mainly follows local laws and the basic standard of the e-cigarette industry. There is no direct article to address e-cigarette products in the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Tobacco Monopoly. Only the Notice on the Prohibition of the Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors directly deals with the administration of e-cigarettes.
In this situation, Gao proposed that by amending the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Tobacco Monopoly and related supporting laws and policies e-cigarettes should be strictly regulated as tobacco products. E-cigarettes should be prohibited from being sold to minors and pregnant women, prohibited in indoor public places and vehicles. Also e-cigarettes should be banned from being promoted as smoking cessation products. At the same time, e-cigarette industry regulation for the production, quality, and safety of e-cigarettes should be formulated as soon as possible, to control production and import enterprises.
Proposed to raise awareness of e-cigarettes, keeping teenagers away from new tobacco alternatives
Moreover, Gao also proposed that the administrative departments could the management of tobacco products as a reference for e-cigarette regulation. For example, licensing of wholesale, retail and other business activities of e-cigarettes containing nicotine or tobacco extracts, strictly prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes on online platforms, strictly management for e-cigarette promotion, marketing advertising approval, and even prohibition. To strengthen market supervision from e-cigarette sales channels.
Local education administrative departments should increase the publicity and education on e-cigarettes, especially in primary and secondary school students in anti-smoking education. So that youth can correctly understand disadvantages of e-cigarettes on their health, not only away from traditional tobacco products, but also away from new tobacco alternatives, including e-cigarettes.
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