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China Download PDFAdd to comparison

Import, export, sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes in mainland China is legal. Vaping is common in larger cities although local laws introduced in certain places like Shanghai, for example, prohibit vaping in non-smoking areas. Sales of e-cigarettes are banned in Macau but it is still legal to vape. There are a range of public places in which vaping is banned regardless of whether the person is vaping nicotine or not, and fines of around $190 exist for flouting these restrictions.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Allowed[1, 2, 3]
As tobacco products
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

General use and availability
Legal to use
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell e-cigarette device
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell nicotine
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy device online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to buy nicotine online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import device - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import nicotine - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Health
Minimum age restrictions on sales
Yes 18+[1, 2, 3]
Legal restrictions on vaping in public places
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Notes on methodology & limitations

Data has been collected from a range of sources which are openly available online, such as vaping information/regulation websites & direct from country's legislation where available. In a few instances information has been included which was received from individuals specialising in the field. The regulatory picture changes frequently and these data boxes show the situation at time of going to press. This website will be updated as/when new regulatory information is received. There are gaps in the data available - readers are invited to send in updated information to the GSTHR team.

Country News

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Hong Kong vaping ban is based on sound reasoning: but it could go further

  • I am writing in response to Alice Wu’s commentary on the government’s recent e-cigarette ban, “E-cigarette ban is clueless, elitist government at its worst (February 17)”. [...] Ms Wu’s interpretation of the research paper she cites is misguided. The observed effect of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation is due to regulation of the amount of use and close monitoring of the subjects by clinical professionals. [...]

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • War on e-cigarettes: Hong Kong intends to jail vaping offenders. But will it make people quit?

  • Robert Chan lit his first cigarette aged 18. He quickly became hooked, smoking 15 a day for more than a decade. [...] Two years ago, on his 30th birthday, Chan started using a device that heats tobacco -- instead of burning it -- to release a nicotine-laced vapor.
    Chan is one of the 35 million people around the world believed to be using e-cigarettes or heat-not-burn products, according to Euromonitor.
    "I wanted to stop smoking but I wasn't quite ready to quit nicotine yet," he says. [...]

  • Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Hong Kong’s bizarre e-cigarettes ban will boost traditional tobacco products rather than reduce smoking

  • The government’s war on e-cigarettes is simply bizarre – and that’s putting it nicely. Of all the unhealthy lifestyle choices available to – or forced upon – Hongkongers, why are e-cigarettes the only item being targeted? The biggest beneficiaries of the ban, traditional tobacco companies that have not invested in researching and developing new alternatives, can now laugh all the way to the bank.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Hong Kong health minister Sophia Chan compares e-cigarettes to an epidemic as she defends coming ban

  • Hong Kong’s health minister likened the e-cigarette trend to an epidemic on Thursday, as she defended the government’s push to remove alternative cigarettes from the market, saying they posed new challenges to the authorities’ drive to deter teenagers from picking up smoking. While seeking to prohibit the sale and supply of such products, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said, the administration was not pushing for a complete ban, as it was not trying to punish the users themselves.

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019
  • Hong Kong pushes ahead with blanket ban on e-cigarettes, with maximum penalty of six months in jail and HK$50,000 fine

  • A bill to amend the Smoking Ordinance targeting alternative cigarettes, which the government hopes will nip the habit in the bud before it becomes entrenched in the city, was submitted to the Legislative Council on Wednesday [...]
    The near-total ban makes good on a pledge by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in her second policy address. Her remarks back then sparked debate over whether such measures would be effective in reducing smoking, and raised questions about the administration’s drastic change in policy from regulation to a ban.

  • Friday, December 21, 2018
  • Ban on smoking in public places faces new problem - e-cigarettes

  • E-cigarettes are increasingly used by smokers in China, but there are currently no national regulations on their use, China Daily reported Thursday.

    The Beijing Tobacco Control Association has received a growing number of reports and complaints about e-cigarettes being used in public places. However, the existing control regulation in the capital city covers only traditional tobacco products that are lighted, the report said.