The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration’s draft rules amend the country’s tobacco monopoly, extending it to e-cigarettes. As per the draft, local businesses must register with the tobacco authority. Moreover, local manufacturers must obtain an additional licence to prove they are in possession of sufficient funds for production, and for a facility and equipment that meet the set standards.

The tobacco authority added that it will establish a “unified national electronic cigarette transaction management platform” that all licensed e-cigarette wholesalers and retailers must sell products through,” while tax collection and payment of e-cigarettes, “shall be implemented in accordance with national taxation laws and regulations.”

This means that vaping products and their manufacturers will be regulated strictly by the Chinese government in the same way as cigarettes and if done right, highlighted Filter, this could mean that “China is about to revolutionize global tobacco harm reduction.”

China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), which sells about 40% of the world’s cigarettes is the world’s largest tobacco company and is fully owned by the Chinese government. Filter explains that this means that the government has a lot to gain from expanding the market of vaping and heated tobacco products, especially given that 90% of the world’s vape products are manufactured in China.

China has repeatedly ignored the WHO FCTC

Moreover, China is renowned for having repeatedly ignored and frustrated the WHO FCTC which has been consistently opposed to tobacco harm reduction. “The Chinese government repeatedly frustrates the WHO FCTC, for example, by including tobacco industry personnel (including staff of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, which shares the same leadership with CNTC)  amongst its delegates at Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings. At the third such meeting in 2008 (COP3), guidelines were adopted instructing Parties to restrict government interference by the tobacco industry. China reacted by declaring that these guidelines did not apply to China—and then increased the number of tobacco industry staff on its delegation for COP4, from two to five. At each subsequent COP, four Chinese tobacco industry delegates have participated in proceedings, often putting a spoke in the wheels of measures against tobacco manufacture, packaging and farming.”

To this effect, it is believed that if China had to embrace tobacco harm reduction, it would boost the international debate on the topic like nothing before.

Read Further: Filter

China: New Draft Rules Require Vape Businesses to Obtain Licences

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