Up until now, the manufacture, sale and use of e-cigarettes in China was largely unregulated. “E-cigarettes are regulated at most as an electronic device. It’s not regulated as a tobacco product, pharmaceutical product or medical device,” said Beijing-based e-commerce expert, Guo Tao.
However, the situation may be changing. Last April, Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, included e-cigarettes in a new smoking regulation that bans smoking in public spaces. While earlier this month, Xi’an has implemented a new smoking regulation that encourages operators of businesses, such as restaurants, to implement their own e-cig regulations. Additionally, Beijing’s health authorities said they will be looking into e-cig studies in order to inform future policies on the devices.
Current regulations are not legally binding
With regards to sales, Chinese authorities including the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued a notice banning the sales of e-cigs to minors, however, this document isn’t legally binding. Hence why experts are saying that these regulations are not enough.
“The manufacturing, promotion, advertising, and sales of e-cigarettes should all be regulated. Use of e-cigarettes should be banned in public areas such as on public transportation, so that people don’t have to suffer from second-hand vapor,” said Wu Yiqun, deputy director of the Beijing-based think tank Research Center for Health Development,