Taipei, The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) is planning legislation that would ban the importation, production or sale of heat-not-burn devices and electronic cigarettes and increase the legal smoking age in Taiwan from 18 to 20.
E-cigarettes need to be outlawed because a growing number of studies are now showing they have long-term negative health effects, HPA Director-General Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) said Friday.
To date, such items as well as e-liquids containing artificially added nicotine or other chemicals are defined as medicines and regulated by the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, rather than the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act.
Under the planned amendment of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, Wang said all types of heat-not-burn devices and e-cigarettes would be officially defined as “tobacco-like products.”
The amendment would also ban the use of flavorings in e-cigarettes to reduce the appeal of tobacco products to younger people, and would also ban smoking in all bars and nightclubs in Taiwan, according to Wang.
The Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act was last amended 13 years ago, Wang said.
According to the HPA, there were an estimated 80,000 young smokers and some 57,000 electronic cigarette users nationwide last year.
Based on its annual figures, the health authority said the numbers have been on the rise in recent years, which is why it has decided to increase the legal smoking age in Taiwan to 20.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel