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Youths Invaded by E-cigarettes, Taiwan Passed a Ban

 A ban on electronic cigarettes passed the third legislative reading on Thursday (Jan. 12) in a move to address the increasing popularity of vaping products in Taiwan’s youths.

The sale, manufacture, and supply of e-cigarettes will be outlawed, however, heated tobacco products (HTPs) will only be subjected to tighter regulation, according to an amendment to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, according to media reports.

Manufacturers or importers of HTPs will have to submit a health risk evaluation report for review before they can receive a permit. Also, advertising of heating devices for such products will be banned, wrote CNA.

Other changes involve raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 20, increasing the proportion of tobacco package warning messages from 35 percent to 50 percent, and designating childcare centers as well as schools as no-smoking/no-vaping areas.

The move is hailed as a partial victory for anti-tobacco groups after years of calls for stricter control of cigarettes and novel tobacco products. The last time the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act was amended was in 2009.

A contentious aspect of the amendment is how to regulate flavored tobacco products.UDN reports that critics find the change insufficient as it only bans the use of banned additives, but this can create a loophole because the terms are vague.