Chinese Authorities Seek to Halt Online E-cigarette Sales

By Bryan Grogan, November 4, 2019

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The sale of e-cigarettes may soon be impossible from ecommerce sites in China, according to a report by China Daily

In a joint release by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the State Administration of Market Supervision, entitled ‘Notice on Further Protection of Minors from E-cigarettes,’ e-cigarette companies and ecommerce sites are being urged to close sales on their e-cig products, as well as calling on companies to cease advertising and prohibit sales of e-cigarettes to minors. 

A brief search of Taobao showed that e-cigarette products are still available for sale, with many being included in Singles’ Day promotions.

The jury is still out on the health risks of e-cigarettes. While many believe that the devices can help smokers to quit traditional cigarettes, US president Donald Trump is apparently adamant about banning e-cigarette flavors to discourage young smokers. Meanwhile, stories about vape lung deaths have been making the rounds online. 

READ MORE: Hangzhou Becomes 1st City in China to Ban Public Vaping

While critics of the sale of e-cigarettes in US have cited vape lung as a pressing issue, Chinese authorities are concerned that minors are increasingly using sites like Taobao, JD.com and others to buy the devices and are not required to show any identification to verify their age when buying e-cigarettes online. 

Another report by People’s Daily surmised that minors buying e-cigarettes in physical stores is also an issue, with many convenience shops prominently placing the devices at the cashier desk. 

The news follows a difficult year for the e-cigarette sector in China, with cities like Hangzhou and Shenzhen banning the use of the devices in public places. 

READ MORE: The Rise of Vaping in Tobacco-Hooked China

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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