Now, Hong Kong joins the vape ban brigade. Last Wednesday, in an official announcement, Hong Kong completely banned e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. The order turned to be a shocker for vape community as authorities took a complete U-turn from their existing stand where they proposed restriction for selling these vaping items to minors.
Chief executive Carrie Lam stated that four medical groups in Hong Kong had proposed the ban after reviewing local surveys that suggested 55% rise in primary schoolchildren who had tried vaping.
In light of this revelation, authorities asked local policy makers to impose the ban. Researchers reported that the proportion of primary pupils who had tried e-cigarettes had increased from 2.9% in the 2016-17 scholastic year, to 4.5% in 2017-18.
To note, last year Hong Kong’s lawmakers had proposed severe policy regulations to paving way to ban the sales of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products and herbal cigarettes to minors. They had also proposed to place health warnings on the packaging and advertising of any of these products.
The regulation would have regulated vaping products in the same way as combustible cigarettes. During the survey, researchers had included the participation of 3,374 parents, of whom 82% called for the ban.
Among all, 69% of the respondents admitted that the vaping kits and electronic cigarette accessories are attractive and addictive to youngster. 67% were found worried that their children would be addicted to start vaping.
The proposed ban evokes mixed response as several public health experts around the world showed their dissent and disappointment. They found it disappointing as these devices were capable of ending the current smoking epidemic.
Experts noted that public health officials are responsible for weighing the benefits and adverse effects the vape devices, and in the case of e-cigarettes, the benefits outweigh the adverse effects.