According to an article in the Harbour Times, Hong Kong has moved a step closer to imposing a complete ban on electronic Cigarettes.
Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, announced the government’s intention to table an amendment bill in the 2016/2017 legislative year to “completely prohibit the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and advertising of e-cigarettes”.
Reacting to news of the proposed ban, the vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Vape Association, Fun Cheung, argued the government should not place electronic cigarettes on the same level as drugs.
“There are already many evidence and reports showing that e-cigs are less harmful than the traditional ones,” Cheung pointed out. “The public should be more open-minded and understand e-cigs are not evil.”
Cheung makes a good point. Public Health England thoroughly investigated the pros and cons of electroic cigarettes and concluded they are 95% less damaging than normal cigarettes. In Europe, electronic cigarettes have already helped 6.1 million people to stop smoking. Most of the vape-hate propaganda is easy to debunk, but still the prejudice against vaping continues.
The Hong Kong Vaping Association is lobbying against the ban on electronic cigarettes and suggest a ban on the use of nicotine e-liquids instead. This is certainly a better idea than a complete ban on electronic cigarettes, but it is possible the lack of nicotine in their e-liquid may make it harder from some people to quit.
Cheung also warned a complete ban on electronic cigarettes may support the growth of black market vaping products.
It is believed the Hong Kong government’s move to impose the ban may have been triggered by restrictions imposed in the US by the FDA and the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
The fact that vaping has already helped millions of people to quit smoking should be seen as a good thing, but the governments of many countries continue to make things difficult for people to make the switch from tobacco products to electronic cigarettes. The most shocking thing about this is tobacco products remain easy to buy. Tobacco is a known killer, but it’s a killer that keeps the tax revenue rolling in and that may be the real root of the problems vapers continue to face.