Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 2

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 67

38 tobaccoasia / Issue 2, 2016 May / June) By Thomas Schmid Asia's E-Cig Regulations: Confusion & Uncertainty When it comes to e-smoking legislation, the most obvious fact that stings the eye of the casual ob- server is how confused, fractured, and ambiguous the regulations and policies can be that different Asian nations have promulgated. Sometimes they don't even exist, as the respective government ap- parently is unsure how to handle and classify e- smoking in relation to combustible tobacco prod- ucts. But it is also rather ironic that the region that is arguably the birthplace of e-smoking harbors some countries that are among the most hostile globally, having banned not only the sale, import, and personal possession of e-smoking devices, but also any personal use at all. This situation be- comes almost ludicrous bearing in mind that it is frequently those very same countries that develop and manufacture the majority of e-smoking devic- es and e-liquids traded worldwide today. The Unforgiving Six What may look like the title of a forgettable B- movie, in fact refers to the ASEAN nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thai- land, and Vietnam. All six of them have imposed almost all-encompassing bans on e-smoking. This makes Southeast Asia the one region in the world with the highest number of countries hostile to e- smoking. The small sultanate of Brunei banned the im- port and sale of e-cigarettes as far back as 2010, and integrated the ban into its Tobacco Ordi- nance of 2005, reasoning that e-smoking devices are "imitation tobacco products". Importers and retailers are subject to a fine equivalent to approxi- mately US$5,000 on the first offence and up to US$10,000 for subsequent violations. However, personal use doesn't seem to be specifically out- With China being the country where the e-cigarette was invented, the rest of Asia nevertheless has a somewhat confused – occasionally outright hostile – relationship with electronic smoking devices as far as legislation is concerned. TOBACCO ASIA takes a closer look at current e-smoking regulations across the continent. Ubud, Indonesia - March 8, 2016: Four men smoking e-cigarettes in preparation for Ogoh Ogoh ceremonies, in a village near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. The nicotine boost helps to keep dancing and playing all night long.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Tobacco Asia - Volume 20, Number 2