5 November 2021
Jonathan Chin. Source: Taipei Times
The Taipei City Government on Wednesday became the nation’s first local government to pass a jurisdiction-wide ban on e-cigarettes via a self-government ordinance.
If the Executive Yuan ratifies the measure, the city would impose a broad-ranging prohibition on the sale, advertisement, display and commercial transportation of novel tobacco products, including vaping devices and heated tobacco units.
Additionally, vaping and using heated tobacco products is to be banned in a 50m zone around schools.
Businesses that breach the proposed regulation are to be fined NT$2,000 to NT$10,000, while those who use novel tobacco devices in a prohibited zone are to face the same fines and attend an anti-tobacco program.
The city ordinance, which initially targeted only vaping devices, was expanded to include heated tobacco products at the suggestion of Taipei City Councilor Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Health Promotion Division Director Lin Meng-hui (林夢蕙) lauded the council’s decision, but said the city has not drafted a timetable for implementing the ban.
The tobacco industry has promoted novel tobacco products as a means to reduce harm from second-hand smoke and as a smoking cessation aid, but these claims are false, she said.
Lin said government testing showed that more than 80 percent of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and that the devices create dependence on the substance.
E-cigarette use has been linked to higher risks of cancer, cardiovascular and lung diseases, and congenital birth defects in infants, she said, adding that the public wants their use regulated.