"These products are being marketed as trendy products to attract youngsters who don't already smoke"
Hong Kong is planning to ban e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products as well as jailing vaping offenders.
CNN reports that the Hong Kong government is pushing ahead with plans to ban e-cigarettes. Heat-not-burn products will also be banned.
Anyone who imports, makes, sells or promotes these products could be jailed for six months or face a HK$50,000 fine. Citizens will still be allowed to smoke their current supplies at home until they run out.
“These products are being marketed as trendy products to attract youngsters who don’t already smoke,” said Antonio Cho-shing Kwong, chairman of the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health. The council had lobbied the government for the ban.
“The smoking prevalence for secondary school children in Hong Kong is 2.5%. With a rate that low, anything that would attract youngsters is dangerous.”
The Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau said all smoking products were “a gateway to the eventual consumption of conventional cigarettes.” It also added that “all these new smoking products are harmful to health and produce second-hand smoke.”
Robert Chan, a smoking addict is in favour of vaping and said the ban will do the community no good. “I wanted to stop smoking but I wasn’t quite ready to quit nicotine yet,” he said. “I saw this as a bridging device to do something less harmful than cigarettes … There’s no ash, no smell and my lungs and breathing feel better when I use it.”
“This is either going to send people back to smoking real cigarettes or drive the whole industry underground to a black market,” he added.