Macau Government Passes Vape Restrictions

The Macau parliament has just extended the current law on smoking prevention, to prohibit the the manufacture, distribution, import, export and transport in and out of the region.

The measure sets in place penalties of MOP4,000 (US$500) for individuals, and fines of between MOP20,000 and MOP200,000 for businesses.

The proposal was unanimously approved during a debate in the Legislative Assembly. However, several members said that the government should go further and set in place a total ban. The law sets in place penalties of MOP4,000 (US$500) for individuals, and fines of between MOP20,000 and MOP200,000 for businesses.

In Macau, e-cigarettes sales have been restricted since 2017. Health Bureau Director Alvis Lo said the aim of such measures is protecting public health. “The use of electronic cigarettes is harmful to health, namely, it causes harmful effects to pregnant women, children and adolescents, and also exposing non-smokers to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.”

While the government said that the decision was taken based on “the strong evidence that this type of tobacco product is harmful to health, and can endanger the safety of people.” He highlighted that consumption has increased significantly, especially among young people. Since 2015, the percentage has increased “from 2.6% to 4%,” according to data revealed in May by the director of Macau’s Health Bureau.

China’s new vape restrictions
Meanwhile, on the 12th of April, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation unveiled technical standards for vaping products which will go into effect in October 1st. In a public document, the regulator listed the required standards for design, chemical compounds, and the mechanics for e-cigarettes that domestic manufacturers must meet in order to sell their products. The release sets another significant milestone for China’s vape industry, which had operated within a grey area for years.

Another new bill going into effect on May 1st, will ban 122 vape flavours as proposed by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, including numerous fruit and alcohol flavours. The draft rules amend the country’s tobacco monopoly, extending it to e-cigarettes and forcing local businesses to register with the tobacco authority. Moreover manufacturers in China must obtain an additional license to prove they are in possession of sufficient funds for production, and an adequate facility and equipment that meet the set standards.