Taiwan’s executive branch has proposed a broad ban on e-cigarettes, including the sale, production, import and even use of e-cigarettes. The Cabinet (or Executive Yuan) will submit an amendment to the Tobacco Harm Prevention and Control Law to the Legislative Yuan for consideration.
Confusing descriptions of the law in news reports suggest that some products may be eligible for approval once they are submitted to the government for evaluation. But it is almost impossible to simply prohibit the personal use of a product that is not approved for sale. (Regulations allowing the use of certain legal products may only apply to heated tobacco products (HTPs), not e-liquid e-cigarettes.)
“The bill mentions that unapproved new tobacco products, such as heated tobacco products or tobacco products already on the market, must be submitted to central government agencies for health risk assessment and can only be produced or imported after approval,” Taiwan News reported yesterday .
According to Focus Taiwan, the proposed law would impose hefty fines ranging from 10 million to 50 million New Taiwan dollars (NT) for business violators. This equates to approximately $365,000 to $1.8 million. Violators face fines ranging from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 (US$72 to US$362).
The amendment proposed by the Department of Health and Welfare includes raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 20 years. The bill also expands the list of places where smoking is prohibited.
Taiwan’s existing laws on e-cigarettes are confusing, and some believe that e-cigarettes have already been banned. In 2019, the General Administration of Customs issued a press release stating that e-cigarettes cannot be imported, even for personal use. It is illegal to sell nicotine products in Taiwan without permission from the Taiwan Drug Regulatory Agency.
Several cities and counties in Taiwan, including the capital Taipei, have banned the sale of e-cigarettes and HTPs, according to ECig Intelligence. Complete bans on e-cigarettes, like Taiwan’s proposed law, are common in Asia.
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), is home to approximately 24 million people. It is believed that about 19% of adults smoke. However, reliable and up-to-date estimates of smoking prevalence are difficult to find because most organizations that collect such information do not recognize Taiwan as a country. The World Health Organization (a UN organization) simply assigns Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China. (The People’s Republic of China states that Taiwan is a breakaway province, not a sovereign country, and Taiwan is not recognized by the United Nations and most other countries.)
Post time: Oct-24-2023