Total ban on alternative smoking products
Alternative smoking products (ASPs), also known as novel tobacco/nicotine products, refer to the smoking products that are newly developed by the tobacco industry and do not fall into any of the categories of conventional tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, cigar and pipe tobacco. The definition might vary across countries, but in Hong Kong, alternative smoking products (ASPs) include e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products (HTPs) and herbal cigarettes.
ASPs have not been on the market long enough for the harms to be thoroughly examined. Nonetheless, emerging research has shown the presence of harmful and carcinogenic substances in ASPs (some are in higher level than in conventional cigarettes) and the harms of use, such as increased respiratory and cardiovascular risks. Given also the inconclusive role in aiding smoking cessation and the potential to recruit non-smokers, especially adolescents, to nicotine use, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends regulations or prohibition of ASPs as appropriate, taking into account a high level of protection of human health.
Places that have prohibited or legislated to prohibit ASPs:
|E-cigarettes||Argentina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lao, Lebanon, Macau, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Qatar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uruguay|
|HTPs||Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Iran, Lao, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda
In Hong Kong, the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) applies to ASPs that the use in statutory no smoking areas is an offence and liable to a HK$1,500 fixed penalty. To further safeguard public health, the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) was amended to legislate a complete ban on ASPs. Since 30 April 2022, it is an offence to import, promote, manufacture, sell or possess for commercial purposes ASPs. Offenders are liable for a HK$50,000 fine and 6-month imprisonment. Broadcast of an ASP advertisement is liable for a HK$50,000 fine, with an extra HK$1,500 fine per day for continuing offences.
Please visit the website of Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office of Department of Health for more details of the legislation.