China might regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping products like traditional tobacco products, per proposed product regulatory guidance.
According to regulatory guidance presented by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, the Chinese government intends to regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping products like tobacco products.
Global Times, a tabloid published by the Chinese government’s vast state-controlled media empire, reports that Chinese regulations on tobacco management “are to be revised in order to strengthen supervision and administration of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. Shares of e-cigarette and e-vapor companies hit after the official statement was released on Monday.”
“The revision will clarify the legal basis for the supervision and administration of e-cigarettes and other new types of tobacco products. It will be coordinated with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors and other laws and regulations,” reads the proposed regulations document via the Global Times.
Reuters reports that the actual tobacco industry is controlled entirely by the government and features product and commercialization licenses with foreign tobacco companies.
While China is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaping products and components, the consumer market is relatively underdeveloped because of the precarious regulatory status of the product categories. In November of 2019, regulators in China chose to forbid e-commerce sales of e-cigarettes. Consequently, the ban curbed the growth of the sector, with many brands moving their businesses to in-real-life sales.
However, once they enter force, the new regulations will place the State Tobacco Monopoly as the de facto retailing entity of e-cigarettes in the future.
It’s said that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration will work hand-in-hand to develop new market regulatory mechanisms that are likely to be administered by tobacco regulatory officials. Also, the state has opened up public comments for the proposed rule changes before they are officially implemented.