Taiwan’s Vape Ban Goes Into Effect

Amendments to Taiwan’s ‘Tobacco Hazard Prevention Act’ banning vaping products and restricting heated tobacco, have officially gone into effect on March 22nd.

The amended Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法) was approved earlier this year and has now gone into effect. It bans the sale, manufacture, and supply of vaping products. Moreover, raises the legal tobacco age limit from 18 to 20, and increases the proportion of tobacco warnings from 35% to 50% of cigarette packs.

Moreover, heated tobacco products (HTPs) are now subject to tighter regulations and advertising them is banned. Manufacturers or importers of HTPs will have to submit a health risk evaluation report for review before they can receive a permit to sell them. Business caught not adhering to these regulations may be faced with a hefty penalty of NT$50 million, while members of the public caught vaping may incur a fine from NT$2000 (US$66) to NT$10,000 (US$330).

This ban is the result of a misinformation campaign
In a recent release, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, Michael Landl, said that this ban is a public health catastrophe in the making. “What we are seeing in Taiwan is the result of a terrible misinformation campaign on harm reduction. Vaping is way less harmful than smoking and has the potential to save thousands of lives in Taiwan. History has also shown that bans and prohibitions do not work. Bans on vaping will only push thousands of people back to smoking or to the black market. If we want to achieve a smoke-less society, we must support tobacco harm reduction, not destroy it. Today’s decision by the Taiwanese legislators is a catastrophic mistake for the country’s public health.”

He added that regulations should be relative to risk. “Instead of outright bans, regulation must be based on science and the experience of millions of consumers. Less harmful products must be treated differently than cigarettes. Taiwan should follow harm reduction leaders like the United Kingdom or Sweden, who are embracing vaping instead of fighting it,” he added.