China plans to ban e-cigarettes in public places to stem a “distinct increase” in vaping among teenagers, becoming the latest nation to push back on the nascent industry that was seeking a foothold in the world’s largest tobacco market.
A week after it banned all online sales of e-cigarettes, a document issued yesterday by eight government bodies, including the National Health Commission, laid out an action plan to combat smoking and vaping among teenagers.
The document, while urging a use of legislation, law revision and enforcement to ban e-cigarettes in public places, did not elaborate on when and how the ban will take effect.
China’s moves are the latest restriction on an industry whose fortunes have soured rapidly in the past few months as a mysterious lung disease linked to vaping has hurt 1,888 people and killed 37.
“There is currently no clear evidence that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking,” the document said. “Authorities must not allow e-cigarettes to be marketed or advertised as smoking cessation tools.”
That stance puts China squarely with countries that have banned e-cigarettes outright, including India, Brazil and Singapore. In contrast, some nations like the U.K. view e-cigarettes as viable alternatives to smoking, one of the leading causes of preventable death. A survey released by the World Health Organization in July showed over 90% respondents in China supporting smoke-free indoor places. This included both cigarettes as well as
e-cigarettes. Rachel Chang & Lisa Du, Bloomberg