From February 2022, subscribers can view and filter individual regulatory alerts per region. If you want to get our monthly compilations, visit our alerts round-up section.
China: Ahead of the implementation on Saturday, 1st October, of the new national standard for e-cigarette products, the tobacco administration has published a notice reiterating that e-cigarettes intended for export must comply with the regulations of the destination country or region. If the destination country does not have relevant laws, the products must comply with Chinese rules. E-cigarette manufacturers with a tobacco monopoly manufacturer's licence who are engaging in exports should make export filings through the electronic cigarette trading management platform. The administration will accept objections from existing e-cigarette manufacturers from 8th to 31st October.
Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU): The Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission decided last week to introduce traceability marking for e-cigarettes throughout the EAEU. The five member states – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – will reportedly determine individually their own procedure and enforcement dates.
South Korea: The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency today warned of an increasingly widespread use by young people of flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which it says are a gateway to smoking. The agency refers to a study showing a 12% increase between 2016 and 2022 in the use of flavoured tobacco products by smokers aged 13-39.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said he expects to finalise the review of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022 next week with the parliamentary special select committee in order to table it again in the upcoming parliamentary session, which starts on 3rd October, press reports. Khairy said MPs were generally in favour of the bill, which proposes a ban on vaping products for those born on or after 1st January 2007, and that most of the issues raised during the bill’s first reading had been resolved by the committee.
Bahrain: The National Bureau for Revenue announced yesterday that from 16th October all cigarettes available for sale must be marked with distinctive digital stamps as laid down by decree No. 3/2022, issued in May. From that date any cigarettes not having the digital stamp will either be destroyed or confiscated. The system is to be extended later to include other tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco and hookahs.
China (Macau): The Macau Legislative Assembly has unanimously approved a government amendment to the New Tobacco Control Law, which prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution and transport of e-cigarettes. Until now, e-cig sales have been forbidden in the special administrative region, while limited imports for personal use were allowed.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has told reporters that the details of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill are to be discussed this week by a bipartisan special select committee, which he will chair. Jamaluddin has already accepted recommendations by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Women, Children and Social Development, including dropping punishment for possession of vaping products by anyone born after 2007, although their use will remain punishable. The bill has sparked heated debate among MPs and others, despite reported calls by the King of Malaysia to support it.
Kuwait: Kuwaiti Customs has again postponed the adoption of the 100% customs duty imposed on e-cigarettes and e-liquids by the Gulf Cooperation Council, putting it back from 1st September 2022 to 1st January 2023. The administration issued a similar notice in February, postponing adoption of the duty from 1st March to 1st September.
Philippines: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has published the full text of Republic Act 11900, which will regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution and use of vaping products. The act will come into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two general circulation newspapers, which to the best of our knowledge has not yet happened.
Uzbekistan: Parliament was today considering the Conciliation Commission’s views on a bill to restrict the distribution and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, media reports. The Senate rejected the bill in June, calling for clarification and amendments, after it was approved by the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, at the end of 2021. The bill aims to amend current tobacco legislation to cover novel products and to ban sales to under-21s.
Saudi Arabia: The Riyadh Municipality has tweeted about “the most prominent violations” by hospitality premises serving “tobacco products”, which include e-cigarettes. They include offering tobacco products without a permit, failure to disclose monthly sales, failure to specify a “tobacco product serving fee” and adding it as a separate item on the customer’s invoice. The authoritiy points out that all these violations are subject to the penalties stipulated in the 2019 Anti-Smoking Law.
Malaysia: The Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Electronic Cigarette Device) Order 2022 comes into effect today. It requires manufacturers and importers of e-cigarette devices and components to apply for a certificate to the inspection and testing body SIRIM QAS International before placing them on the market. E-cigs that comply with the Malaysian Standard on Electronic Cigarette Devices will be marked as such.
Kyrgyzstan: The Ministry of Economy and Finance has put forward for public discussion a draft resolution on minimum retail prices for tobacco and nicotine-containing products, media reports. It suggests e-cigarettes should be priced at KGS400 ($4.80) per device in 2023, then rise gradually until 2026.
Indonesia: Government officials and stakeholders met yesterday to discuss revising the tobacco framework, Government Regulation 109 of 2012, with a view to regulating e-cigarettes, press reports. Deputy health minister of Health Dante Saksono said several ministries were working on it, although a formal initiative sent by the Ministry of Health to the president was rejected in January.
Malaysia: The Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee on Health, Science and Innovation has recommended that the proposed generational ban on purchase of vape products should be delayed for three years, and that the ban should start with those born after 2008, instead of 2007, press reports. The committee wants a three-year evaluation period to assess the government’s preparedness to implement the ban and to assess the need for separate regulation of vaping products. It said that e-cigarettes have “harm reduction” characteristics compared to combustible tobacco.
Vietnam: During a symposium yesterday on new tobacco products, the Ministry of Health objected to a proposal put forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade for a two-year pilot programme for trade in e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, press reports. Tran Thi Trang, deputy director of the health ministry’s legal department, said the pilot proposal came purely from a business perspective and has not been thoroughly studied from the point of view of public health.
Malaysia: A much-discussed bill banning the sale of vaping products to people born in or after 2007 was tabled in Parliament today. The bill does not mention nicotine but defines a “smoking device” as “any electronic device or a battery-operated device or other device, which is used to heat, vaporise, or burn a tobacco product, smoking substance, or substitute tobacco product for smoking”. It defines a “smoking substance” as “any substance or combination of substance comprising of propylene glycol, glycerol, or triethylene glycol for the purpose of smoking”, including nicotine-free e-cigarettes. The bill equates vaping with smoking, and proposes penalties for the purchase, possession and use of vaping products by anyone born after 1st January 2007.
Philippines: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has published an updated list of registered manufacturers and importers of vapour products. According to the authority, any product not included in the list and that does not comply with regulations, such as the health warning requirements, is considered unauthorised.
Philippines: The Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Bill (Vape Bill), which introduces further regulation of vaping and heated tobacco products, has lapsed into law after president Bongbong Marcos took no action on it. Among the new provisions is the lowering of the minimum purchasing and sale age to 18. The Department of Trade and Industry becomes the authority to set technical standards. The President’s Office is yet to release a copy of the law.
Thailand: Cannabis-based e-liquids will not be exempt from the ban on the import and sale of vaping products. The National Tobacco Products Control Committee has made clear that both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes with cannabis are banned, press reports.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin today tweeted that, after having taken into account all the opinions expressed in stakeholder engagement sessions, sales of vaping products will be banned to those born in or after 2007, rather than 2005 as previously reported. In a separate tweet, Khairy said the “Generational Endgame” bill will be tabled in Parliament next week.
United Arab Emirates: The Public Prosecution authority has published a warning on Instagram that the sale, distribution and promotion of tobacco products to under-18s is prohibited. Under the Electronic Nicotine Products standard, e-cigarettes are treated like traditional tobacco, so selling them to minors can lead to at least three months’ jail and a fine of no less than AED15,000 ($4,000) under Federal Law No. 03/2016 on child rights and Federal Law No. 15/2009 on tobacco control.
Jordan: The House of Representatives has referred a government-drafted bill of child rights to a joint committee of the Women and Family Affairs Committee and the Legal Committee. The bill proposes fines ranging from JOD 100 ($140) to JOD 300 ($420) for smoking or vaping in front of children, including by parents or family members. Vaping is considered to be smoking under Public Health Law No. 47/2008 and the Standards for tobacco and nicotine products, including electronic ones.
Israel: Health minister Nitzan Horowitz is considering further restricting the marketing of disposable e-cigarettes and raising the excise duty on them, due to their growing popularity among young people, press reports. He is reportedly considering requiring disturbing and impactful images on packaging to discourage purchase.
Malaysia: A poll of 40 members of Malaysia’s lower parliamentary chamber the Dewan Rakyat found only 12 said they would vote in favour of a bill banning the sale of vaping products to anyone born after 2005. Another 26 said they would decide how they would vote after the publication of the draft bill. The report by CodeBlue, a newspaper specialising in health matters, says most of those as yet uncommitted “appeared to lean towards opposing the tobacco bill in its current form, as they expressed various concerns with the proposed generational ban on tobacco and vape”.
Malaysia: The Cabinet yesterday approved the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill that sets out to ban the sale of vaping products to anyone born in or after 2005, press reports. The Cabinet’s approval allows health minister Khairy Jamaluddin to table the bill in Parliament, which he intends to do during the upcoming session, which begins on Monday, 18th July.
Philippines: The Presidential Office has confirmed to ECigIntelligence that it received the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, which will further regulate vaping products, on 24th June, six days before president Bongbong Marcos took office. If the president does not act on a bill submitted by Congress, it lapses into law after 30 days of receipt.
Saudi Arabia: The National Committee for Tobacco Control has tweeted that the Islamic pilgrimage season, the Hajj, is an opportunity to quit smoking, and stressed that under the Anti-Smoking Law Royal Decree No. (M/56)/2015 it is prohibited to consume any tobacco product in religious areas, including squares and places surrounding mosques. Saudi Arabia’s anti-smoking regulations also apply to e-cigarettes.
Saudi Arabia: The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has introduced an initial draft through the Public Consultation Platform, proposing amendments to the executive bylaw on excise tax. It suggests that a warehouse should be eligible for licensing as a tax warehouse if it acquires an average of 500,000 vaping devices a year rather than 1m devices as at present, and 125,000 l of e-liquid rather than 500,000. The authority has until 30th July to discuss the amendments before accepting them.
Philippines: Presidential spokesperson Trixie Cruz-Angeles has told reporters that the new president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, has given no indication of whether or not he supports the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, which would change regulations on vaping products. Bills approved by the former Congress lapse into law if the president fails to act on it within 30 days of receiving it. The presidential office has not confirmed to ECigIntelligence when the bill was received.
Vietnam: Luu Binh Pyong, a member of the one-party National Assembly, has criticised the loose management of novel tobacco products and spoken out against a ban, press reports. Other members of the Assembly have also supported the creation of a legal framework. Heated tobacco is forbidden in Vietnam while e-cigarettes are unregulated.
Philippines: After campaigning in a televised briefing against the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, the Department of Health has issued a statement urging president Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill, which it says would hand its power over all aspects of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco to the Department of Trade and Industry. The bill was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives in January but has not yet been sent to the president’s office.
Philippines: The Department of Health has asked charities, clubs and community organisations in a televised briefing to help it campaign against the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, which will change regulations on vaping and heated tobacco products. The bill was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives in January but has not yet been sent to the president’s office.
Bangladesh: A proposed amendment to the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act entails a ban on production, import, and sales of e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches, media reports. A consultation on the proposal is open until 14th July.
South Korea: E-cigarette health warnings remain unchanged following a decision by the National Health Promotion Policy Deliberative Committee to change pictorial warnings on tobacco products.
Kazakhstan: The Senate, the upper chamber of Parliament, has approves a bill to introduce changes to the Tax Code, media reports. It would increase the tax rate on nicotine e-liquids to KZT53 ($0.12) per ml from 1st January 2023 and to KZT55 from 1st January 2024. The bill will now go to president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for signature. The recent call for a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes has not led so far to any legislative moves.
Kazakhstan: The concept of harm reduction, as well as the regulation of new nicotine products, has been discussed at the first Eurasian nicotine forum in the capital, Nur-Sultan, media reports. The forum was attended by scientists, doctors, representatives of leading tobacco firms and interest groups.
China: The national Unified e-cigarette trading platform was launched today. As explained in our report on Chinese regulation, the platform will hold information on licensed operators and all products sold domestically, as well as those intended for export after they are reviewed by the tobacco administration.
Israel: An order introduced in November 2021, establishing a tax on e-liquids, has expired without being approved by the Knesset (parliament), meaning no such tax will be imposed, press reports. The full Knesset yesterday rejected the Finance Committee’s proposal to reduce the proposed excise duty by 10% to 243% of the common wholesale price.
Kazakhstan: An online petition against a possible ban on the sale and use of e-cigarettes has so far been signed by 6,772 people, with 5,990 in support. The rapidly-growing petition comes in response to a proposal by the leader of the National Coalition for a smoke-free Kazakhstan that a ban on e-cig sales should be added to the Health Code.
Philippines: The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling recognising the regulatory authority of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over tobacco products. The Philippine Tobacco Institute had argued that tobacco regulation should be in the hands of the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco). The FDA and DOH are the current regulatory authorities for heated tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Uzbekistan: The Senate has rejected a bill to restrict distribution and use of alcohol and tobacco products, saying it needs to be clarified and improved, press reports. The bill, which covers all tobacco and nicotine products, including vaping and heat-not-burn (HnB) products, will be presented again at the next full session of the Senate after the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, considers the shortcomings pinpointed by senators.
Mongolia: Deputy finance minister Sanjaa Mungunchimeg has said a draft law to impose a tax on e-cigarettes is ready, press reports. She added that the bill would be submitted to Parliament and the government separately from the budget amendment that is currently under discussion.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong police have arrested two people for violating the ban on selling alternative smoking products. Officers seized 94 boxes of suspected nicotine-containing e-cigarette cartridges and 74 “smoking devices” during the operation in Mong Kok, press reports. They were reportedly the first arrests under the ban, which came into effect on Saturday.
Thailand: Digital economy and society minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn has submitted a petition to the National Tobacco Products Control Committee calling on it to legalise e-cigarettes, press reports. Chaiwut said e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional tobacco and should be regulated as cigarettes. He also highlighted that legalising them would bring in added tax revenue.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Customs reports a major operation to combat illicit heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, with products with an estimated market value of $15m seized in the past month. The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into effect on Saturday, 30th April, banning production, import, sales and promotion of heat-not-burn (HnB) and vaping products, subject to a fine of up to $50,000 and up to six months’ jail.
Thailand: Health minister and deputy prime minister Anutin Charnvirakul has told the Thai Health Promotion Foundation that he will not support the legalisation of e-cigarettes, press reports. The minister has established a tobacco control panel under the Department of Disease Control to review the current regulations, in the belief that e-cigs have become popular with young people in Thailand.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin reportedly said last week that the 15% import duty on nicotine gum products, to be imposed from 1st June, should either reduced or cancelled, describing them as a good smoking cessation tool. This liberal policy towards nicotine gum would be in contrast to the legal framework for nicotine-containing vaping products, marketing of which is currently subject to a pharmaceutical licence. The government is planning to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2005.
China: The State Administration for Market Regulation and the National Standardisation Administration today published the approved mandatory national standard on e-cigarettes, which will be implemented from 1st October. Along the lines of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), the standard will impose a nicotine cap of 20 mg and limit the size of refills to 20 ml.
Taiwan: About 97% of parents who responded to a survey conducted by the National Alliance of Parents Organisations would like all novel tobacco products to be banned, along with e-cigarettes, press reports. The organisation estimated that 73,000 teenagers in Taiwan use e-cigarettes and "similar products". A bill to explicitly ban e-cigarettes and regulate heated tobacco is currently at the final enactment stage.
Malaysia: A bill banning sales of vaping products to anyone born after 2005 will be discussed tomorrow by a parliamentary Special Committee on Health, Science and Innovation before it is introduced to Parliament in July, press reports. Tomorrow's discussion will be the first of a series of committee proceedings to review the wording of the bill and its implementation plans, while taking into account the different views from all relevant parties.
Malaysia: The Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs today issued an order on Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Electronic Cigarette Device). The order, which will come into force on 3rd August, requires manufacturers and importers of e-cigarette devices and their components to apply to the testing and inspections agency SIRIM QAS International for a certificate of compliance with the Malaysian standard before placing them on the market. Each compliant product will then be marked as such. The order does not apply to e-liquids.
Mongolia: The government has decided to submit changes to the Law on Tobacco Control by June and propose an e-cigarette tax, press reports.
China: The market administration of Changsha, a city of 8m people in Hunan province, has issued a notice alerting the public to last November’s national legislative changes. Tobacco operators and advertising agencies are reminded that it is illegal to advertise e-cigarettes online, in mass media, newspapers, radio or television. The notice says: “Advertisements promoting product names, trademarks, packaging, branding and similar features of electronic cigarettes must be immediately removed.”
Armenia: A technical regulation on the safety of nicotine-containing e-liquids came into force on 11th February. The regulation introduces certain product, labelling, storage and transportation requirements, as well as conformity assessment procedures. It sets a maximum nicotine content for e-liquids of 20 mg /ml.
Thailand: The government has approved a draft National Tobacco Control Plan for 2022-2027. Despite recent advocacy efforts towards legalising e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products, no such move is foreseen in the the plan. In January the Digital Economy and Society Ministry reportedly established a working group tasked with exploring possible legalisation of e-cigarettes.