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China Regulators Issue Draft Rules on E-Cigarettes

In March, regulators posted the draft regulations online, which could potentially curb a fast-growing industry

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A saleswoman demonstrates vaping at an e-cigarette products shop in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

 

China’s tobacco authority issued draft rules governing e-cigarettes on Thursday, moving the product away from a regulatory grey area and under the oversight of the state.

The rules were published following a move by China’s cabinet last week to amend the tobacco monopoly law to include e-cigarettes.

In March, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration posted the draft regulations online, which could potentially curb a fast-growing industry.

In 2019, a string of Chinese e-cigarette companies emerged targeting the domestic market. The most successful among them, RLX Technology, raised $1.4 billion in an initial public offering in January that valued the company at $35 billion.

The South China Morning Post reported in October that China’s youth were increasingly taking up vaping of e-cigarettes, despite health warnings and a ban on sale to minors. It said that e-cigarettes were increasingly marketed towards younger consumers.

In September, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described youth ecigarette use as a “serious public health concern amid the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The CDC said more than 2 million teenagers used e-cigarettes in 2021, with almost 85% of those youths using flavoured e-cigarettes.

Earlier this month, a World Health Organization report said there were 1.3 billion tobacco users globally, compared with 1.32 billion in 2015. This number is expected to drop to 1.27 billion by 2025.

The WHO said 60 countries are now on track to achieving the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction in tobacco use between 2010 and 2025.  Two years ago only 32 countries were on track.

“Millions of lives have been saved by effective and comprehensive tobacco control policies under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,” the agency said in a statement.

 

  • Reuters, with George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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