In an attempt to protect teenagers from smoking the Taiwan Executive Yuan (the leadership of the executive branch) is due to approve a draft amendment to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act. It will submit the change to the legislature on Thursday (October 12th, 2017) and is set to ban the import, manufacture, sale, and advertising of electronic cigarettes, according to a story in the Taipei Times.
The punishments described in the amendment relate to a fine of between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000 for the manufacture and importation of e-cigarettes, while the sale of e-cigarettes and their use in non-smoking areas would cause a fine of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000.
The ban is issued by Ministry of Health and Welfare and not codified in the act itself, which means they have left themselves in legal terms some scope for negotiation.
“Teenagers who have used them are six times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes”
“It is estimated that between 60,000 and 70,000 junior and senior high school students in Taiwan have used e-cigarettes,” said cabinet deputy spokeswoman Chang Hsiu-Chen. “Teenagers who have used them are six times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes, so the government must ban e-cigarettes to protect teenagers’ health.”
Chang stated that the World Health Organization had advised on their regulation due the fact that e-cigarettes contained nicotine.
“The possession and use of e-cigarettes are legal, but should be regulated like regular cigarettes, meaning that people under 18 and pregnant women are prohibited from using e-cigarettes, and it is illegal to use them in non-smoking areas,” Chang said.
The amendment will also ban flavored cigarettes and order cigarette producers to increase the size of graphic health warnings from 35% under current regulations to 85%.
The amendment also demands that the government must grant legal and medical assistance to anyone who sustains injuries or damage to their property after trying to discourage people from smoking or refusing to sell cigarettes to underage people.