2022年1月29日

Securities Times: E-cigarette policy should strike a balance between development and regulation

Securities Times reporter Yu Shengliang

The latest notice issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology intends to define e-cigarettes as tobacco, which should be regulated with reference to tobacco. This became a nuclear bomb-level impact, and many people thought e-cigarettes were dead.

The e-cigarette was born in China, and may be the only original electronic product in the country. However, the e-cigarette has faced an identity problem since its birth. At the beginning of the Chinese market to give up smoking as a selling point, and then the market eliminated, but to leave home, in other countries to fight for a world, can be said to be grassroots started, proud of the world. Although the industry has been challenged, when every one or two years on, to a large negative news, but quickly recovered again, begin to more rapid growth, grow out of the two billions of market value companies now, several billions companies, there are many potential underwater company, with focusing proverbs of making a fortune, afraid of targeted by the government, be afraid to encounter the policy.

In retrospect, e-cigarettes have been able to grow in the face of waves of negative factors, perhaps because it is in line with the development of the industry. Products that conform to the laws of industrial development, if they cannot be made here, will be made elsewhere, and if they cannot be sold aboveboard, they will lurk in a grey zone. Now, China has developed this industry, we should be good at using this advantage, let this industry continue to maintain the advantage in the world.

The regulatory challenge with e-cigarettes is that they are electronic and have tobacco characteristics. It is no longer possible to regulate simply as electronic products. If you want to smoke cigarettes or tobacco oil, food hygiene will be involved. In some countries, it is regulated according to food. The president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association believes that e-cigarettes, which are heated but not burned, belong to tobacco, while other major types are not tobacco products. If e-cigarettes are included in the tobacco monopoly, it will be an opportunity to further expand the tobacco industry, which has already caused serious harm to the national health.

China has the world’s largest population of smokers, but the overall effect on tobacco control is poor. Strictly controlling the number and population of smokers should be the mainstream consensus. Taxes, though huge, are only a means of control.

Of course, tobacco control cannot be achieved overnight. It needs a process. In addition to reducing tobacco sales by means of price promotion, e-cigarette replacement is also a way. Therefore, even if tobacco is included in the regulation, e-cigarettes and cigarettes should not be treated in the same way. They should be the lesser of the two evils, and their differences in circulation and regulation should be shown. Of course, some aspects should be the same, such as advertising can not be prohibited to minors sales.

It should be said that there may be setbacks for e-cigarette practitioners, but e-cigarettes are certainly not going to die. This huge industry needs supervision. Meanwhile, supervision should realize the law of the development of this industry, find a balance between industry development and supervision, and guard against one-size-fits-all. Our attitude to e-cigarettes could have a model effect internationally.

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