In August 2021, Hong Kong’s Council on Smoking and Health said that government statistics had shown that local teenagers use the products more often than adults. The public at large wanted a total ban of the products and Hong Kong’s largest party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress (DAB), had voiced its support for such a measure.
The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by a vote of 32 to 3
Vapers had been preparing for the ban, with the standard recently reporting that many had been stocking up. Many businesses had been selling the products at reduced prices, and following the ban they started closing down.
Local police have already started making arrests, with two suspects, aged 28 and 31, held on suspicion of selling and possessing vaping products. Offenders will be subject to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,370) and six months’ imprisonment.
A recent article on The South China Post had cautioned that given the lack of success the vape ban in Australia has had in decreasing smoking rates, Hong Kong should think twice about implementing theirs.
One-third of smokers in Hong Kong used alternative nicotine products
In fact a survey conducted by Hong Kong Newspaper Hawker Association found one-third of smokers in Hong Kong used alternative nicotine products. About 700 of the respondents said they will not quit smoking after the ban, of which 90% stated that they will go back to using regular cigarettes, while the rest said they find other ways of obtaining their preferred products.
Read Further: South China Morning Post