China Bans Online Vaping Sales
Officials claim the move is aimed at protecting minors.
The United States has seen a wave of regulatory crackdown following misinformed media reports attributing various illnesses to e-cigarettes. While these illnesses have been wholly isolated to the US and no illnesses, have been directly attributed to nicotine vaping, that hasn’t stopped lawmakers across the globe from hastily enacting regulations out of an unfounded position of fear.
China is the latest country to enact some form of prohibition against vaping, putting an end to online sales of vapor products and devices. Public health officials have stated that the move is aimed at protecting the physical and mental wellbeing of the country’s youth.
Members of the Chinese Vaping Industry are gravely concerned about the future of the $5 billion a year industry, which exports nearly 85% of production. This ban could not only have serious negative ramifications for the Chinese domestic vaping market but may also have bigger implications for the global vaping industry at large.
Vaping has faced heightened scrutiny amidst a wave of hysteria fueled by unfounded misinformation. Bans such as China’s simply restrict adult smokers access to a proven smoking cessation device, potentially exacerbating public health concerns.
Another National Ban
China joins Brazil, Uruguay, Singapore, and India in wholly or partially banning sales of vapor products. A joint statement issued by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the State Administration for Market Regulation stated that all websites and apps selling vapor products must halt all sales and marketing.
The agencies have stated the move was aimed at protecting the physical and mental health of the nation’s youth. The domestic e-cigarette market in China has been projected to reach over $1 billion in 2019.
The country’s regulatory agencies have stated they will take more stringent measures to help enforce the new directive and further regulate the vaping industry. A lack of industry standards and regulations have led to concerns over unsafe ingredients, faulty batteries, and e-liquid leakage.
The country had previously banned the sale of vapor products to minors in August 2018; public health officials then went on a campaign to raise awareness about teenage vaping and in turn, saw fewer unscrupulous marketing materials aimed at them. While there were notable improvements, officials note that some minors were still able to purchase vapor products online.
Facts About Vaping
China has cited the ban on vapor products is aimed at protecting youth, despite evidence showing concerns over youth vaping may be extremely overblown. A study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that vaping isn’t any more of a gateway to teen smoking than alcohol.
There is additional research that shows that even teens who do choose to try vaping do not end up taking it up habitually. A study featuring over 60,000 teenage participants conducted by Action on Smoking and Health found that as few as 0.1% to 0.5% of teens who try vaping actually end up doing so regularly.
Despite the perpetuation of these misinformed myths, there is substantial evidence noting the efficacy of vaporizers as smoking cessation devices. In fact, research conducted by University College London found vaping helped up to 70,000 British smokers quit in just 2017 alone.
In addition to highlighting the effectiveness of vaping in smoking cessation, current research also indicates the reduced harm vaping poses compared to smoking. A study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that vapers have a near 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer than smokers in their lifetimes.
The ban on online sales of vapor products in China may have serious public health and economic ramifications for not only the country but the entire world. China is a significant source of vapor products sold by international third party retailers and is also responsible for a majority of global production, including vapor devices and juices.
It’s not yet fully understood how international markets will be impacted by this and associated bans, but the preliminary analysis doesn’t look promising. RELX, a Beijing-based vapor startup that claims to hold a 60% domestic market share, has stated it wholly supports the bans and will terminate all online sales and marketing immediately.
Members of the vaping industry should cautiously pay attention to this particular ban as the situation unfolds. The impact of this specific ban may have more significant consequences on the broader vapor industry than initially thought once agencies begin enforcement.
How do you feel about China’s ban on online vaping sales? Are you worried about the potential impacts this ban may have on international markets? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-864884/)