Vape shops in Kaohsiung City have closed 15 out of 44 since Taiwan’s vaping ban went into effect on March 22, according to the city’s Department of Health.
Among the city’s 44 stores, 10 have completely shut down their businesses while 15 have closed their doors, according to media reports. According to Taiwan News, the rest of the stores have switched to selling other products, as the owners said the fines are too high to risk.
In addition to intensive inspections of physical stores, the health department is monitoring online sales and social media advertisements. So far, one violator who made e-cigarette advertisements will be interviewed and fined.
The amended regulations to Taiwan’s Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act ban e-cigarettes entirely, raise the smoking age to 20 and increase penalties for violators.
According to the new regulations, manufacturing or importing e-cigarettes is punishable by a fine of up to NT$50 million (US$1.65 million). Advertising agencies, media, and advertisers are subject to a maximum fine of NT$2 million if they are caught advertising unsanctioned tobacco products.
Selling or displaying unsanctioned tobacco products is punishable by a maximum fine of NT$1 million. The fine for supplying novel tobacco products and their paraphernalia is NT$10,000 to NT$250,000, and vaping is punishable by a fine between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000.