China’s State Council on Friday amended its tobacco monopoly law to include regulations on e-cigarettes and vaping. This result comes after months of deliberation by the Chinese government to regulate e-tobacco consumption.
Sales of electronic cigarettes have been operating in the gray area of the law since they became popular in China. Following the amendment, they will be regulated and supervised in the same way as conventional tobacco products. The tobacco industry in China is completely controlled by the government. Businesses and retailers must obtain special permits before being allowed to sell tobacco products.
The National Tobacco Monopoly Administration of China and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) first proposed the amendment in March this year. This stemmed from the fear that the packaging of electronic cigarette products would not accurately list nicotine concentration levels and would lead to more teens to develop addiction to vaping.
The Chinese electronic cigarette market is the largest in the world, valued at around 8.38 billion yuan. The country not only makes heavy use of electronic cigarettes, but also has factories that also produce and supply vaping devices and liquids. Shares of Chinese electronic cigarette giant RELX Technology fell 15% after the amendment was released.
The new provision is found in Article 65 of the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Tobacco Patent Sales Law of the People’s Republic of China.