Taichung is set to become the first of the nation’s six special municipalities to ban residents under the age of 18 from using or possessing e-cigarettes, starting in September.
Under the Taichung Autonomous Act for E-Cigarette Hazards Prevention (台中市電子煙危害防制自治條例) passed by the Taichung City Council on Wednesday, provision of e-cigarettes or related items to minors or pregnant women is to be punishable by a fine between NT$10,000 and N$50,000, as of Sept. 28.
Using e-cigarettes at schools, museums and movie theaters or on public transportation systems is also to be banned, with violators liable to fines ranging from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000.
Photo: Lin Ching-lun, Taipei Times
The Taichung Department of Health said a census by the Ministry of Health and Welfare found that the number of teenagers and other young people using e-cigarettes has been rising annually and poses a hazard to health.
E-cigarettes had fallen between the regulatory cracks as they are not considered a tobacco product under the terms of the Tobacco Hazard and Prevention Act (菸害防治法), the Taichung City Government said.
Department director Tseng Tzu-chan (曾梓展) said most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and there have been cases abroad where they have contained amphetamines, marijuana, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other substances, which could prove to be addictive over time or cause health risks.
There have also been cases of e-cigarettes exploding, Tseng said.
The new ordinance would help reduce the use of e-cigarettes by teens and young adults, as well as protect defined areas and public spaces from vapors from such products, he said.
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