New Taipei prepares to impose ban on under-18 vaping
Taipei, July 22 (CNA) People under the age of 18 will not be permitted to buy or smoke electronic cigarettes in New Taipei, when a new ordinance takes effect in early August, the city government said Thursday.
The ordinance on e-cigarettes was passed by the New Taipei City Council on April 29 and is expected to take effect on Aug. 6, two days after it has been promulgated, the local government said.
When it takes effect, vapers under the age of 18 will be required to enroll in a program to help them quit smoking, if they caught carrying or smoking e-cigarettes in New Taipei, the city's health department said in a statement.
Violators who skip the programs without a valid reason will be fined NT$2,000-NT$10,000 (US$71-354), the department warned.
It also said that individuals or businesses found selling e-cigarettes or other vaping devices to people under the age of 18 will risk a maximum fine of NT$100,000.
Under Taiwan's current law, minors are defined as people under 20, but an amendment that was passed last December will lower the age to 18, with effect from 2023.
Meanwhile, the New Taipei health department said city regulations prohibit the manufacture, importation, sale, display, and advertisement of e-cigarette products without the relevant permits.
The maximum fine for violation of that regulation is NT$100,000, and the businesses involved may be closed down or suspended, the department said.
According to the health department's head Chen Ran-chou (陳潤秋), the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive and may cause brain damage.
He said the current national Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act is not strong enough to protect young people, as the fines for selling vaping products to minors is only NT$1,000-NT$3,000.
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