The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday warned the public against using electronic cigarettes, which are prohibited in Taiwan.
The import and manufacture of the products constitutes a violation of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法) and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
“All of the e-cigarettes available on the market are illegal, since the administration has yet to issue any permit allowing people to manufacture or import such products,” FDA Northern Center section head Wu Ming-mei (吳明美) told a press conference in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
Wu said the administration dispatched a total of 525 staff members to inspect online stores, as well as night markets and drug stores nationwide between March and last month in an effort to crack down on sales of e-cigarettes.
“We discovered 43 e-cigarette products, 28 of which contain nicotine, seven neither contain nicotine nor claim therapeutic effects, four are being examined by local health departments and four have been referred to prosecutors for investigation,” Wu said.
Thirty-seven of the prohibited products were sold online, Wu added.
People who manufacture or import nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes without a permit could be punished by a maximum prison term of 10 years or a fine not exceeding NT$10 million (US$333,000), as stipulated in Articles 20 and 22 of the act, the administration said.