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Group calls for tighter control of e-cigarettes

2015/08/03 11:33:56

Hsueh Kuang-chieh, head of Kaohsiung Veterans' General Hospital's tobacco cessation clinic.

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) The John Tung Foundation called for tighter control of e-cigarettes after recording a dramatic increase in the number of tip-offs it has received on illegal sales of such items.

According to the health-promoting charity, it received 4,436 reports of illegal sales of e-cigarettes between January and June, more than six times the 670 reports it received in all of 2014.

Foundation CEO Yau Sea-wain (姚思遠) said Saturday that the jump in the number of tip-offs it received showed that the government's attempt to regulate e-cigarettes under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act has not worked.

Although the Ministry of Health and Welfare does not allow e-cigarettes to be manufactured, imported or sold in Taiwan, they are widely available online and through street vendors, the foundation said.

Lin Ching-li (林清麗), head of the foundation's tobacco control division said that if e-cigarettes were regulated under the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, there could be tighter control of the user end, and online sales would be banned as a result.

Arguing that e-cigarettes have not proven to be effective in helping smokers quit smoking, Hsueh Kuang-chieh (薛光傑), head of Kaohsiung Veterans' General Hospital's tobacco cessation clinic and an adviser to the foundation, urged people to not mistakenly think that e-cigarettes are not cigarettes.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Kay Liu)
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