Bill to tighten control on e-cigarettes

Local | 1 Dec 2017 12:08 pm

Hong Kong will present an amendment bill to tighten controls on e-cigarettes very soon, Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan said today.

Currently, it is not against the law to sell or possess e-cigarettes, although possessing those that contain nicotine can lead to a two-year prison term or HK$100,000 fine.

Chan said tobacco companies often claim that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, but the opposite may be true. 

"Evidence that we have collected globally [shows] that e-cigarettes are harmful and many of the substances in the e-cigarette cartridge are actually carcinogenic and harmful to health," Chan said.

"So therefore there is a need for the government to strengthen the regulatory framework for e-cigarettes in Hong Kong." 

Chan was speaking to reporters at a tobacco control conference in Wan Chai, where she was also asked if the government will raise tobacco duty next year after a three-year freeze. 

She said the government will have to take reference from World Health Organisation recommendations and there is more to consider than just tax when it comes to tobacco control. 

"Obviously in the coming years, we will be looking into all the effectiveness of our multi-pronged tobacco control strategies in order to work on our coming strategies."

The Council on Smoking and Health has also urged the government to double the tax on normal cigarettes, saying this could reduce the number of smokers in Hong Kong to five percent of the population in 10 years' time.-RTHK

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