The John Tung Foundation yesterday called for stronger government regulation of electronic cigarettes and other new types of tobacco products, saying it has received complaints from parents about shops near schools.
The foundation, which is marking its 36th anniversary today, told a news conference in Taipei that it received a report from a mother of a senior-high school student in northern Taiwan about a shop selling smoking accessories that recently opened across the school.
The school has 2,300 students and teachers, the foundation said.
Other parents have also complained about a newly opened shop selling electronic cigarettes near two elementary schools in northern Taiwan, it said.
To avoid inspections, some sellers allegedly use the sale of smoking accessories as a guise when, according to the parents, various tobacco products can still be purchased inside the stores, the foundation said.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has over the past three years repeatedly emphasized that electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are illegal, foundation chief executive officer Yao Ssu-yuan (姚思遠) said.
However, sellers have continued to open stores, he said, adding that the foundation fears sellers are confident that electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products would be allowed.
Even a student at the senior high school has asked why the shop was able to open directly across their school, said Lin Ching-li (林清麗), head of the foundation’s Tobacco Control Division.
The shop near the elementary schools only opens when school is open, and not on weekends, she said.
This is just the “tip of the iceberg” and similar situations exist outside northern Taiwan, she said.
Even though some products claim to be less harmful, they are still harmful, said Lai Chih-kuan (賴志冠), a physician at Taipei Veterans General Hospital’s family medicine department.
With their “cool” high-tech appearance, these products are very attractive to adolescents, Lai said.
Although authorities continue to say electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are illegal, they can easily be found online, said Yu Kai-hsiung (游開雄), former chairman of the Consumers’ Foundation and a lawyer.
He urged local governments to set up ordinances banning shops within 400m from elementary and high schools from selling electronic cigarettes and other new types of tobacco products.
TRAVEL FACTOR: The party’s chairman said that the key to a successful recall of the Kaohsiung mayor was turnout among young voters from outside the city More than 55 percent of Kaohsiung residents said that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) should be recalled, the New Power Party (NPP) said yesterday, citing a poll. The COVID-19 situation and turnout among young people would be two key factors determining whether Han is removed from office, the NPP said. The telephone survey showed that 59.5 percent of respondents said they would vote in the recall election, down 6.1 percentage points from the results of a similar poll last month. Those who said that Han should be recalled rose 4.3 percentage points to 56.4 percent, while 28.9 percent said they disagreed with the
Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) yesterday filed a complaint against the Kaohsiung City Government for launching a NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) stimulus program to boost consumer spending, which Yin said has contravened the law, as it uses public money to counter a recall vote against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). Yin and his lawyer went to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office to file a complaint and ask that an investigation be launched. They accused the city government of wrongdoing, illegal activities, undue profiteering and contravening the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Han on Tuesday unveiled the program, which is to
’DESPERATION’: Reminiscent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Beijing is taking a calculated risk by acting first and resolving recriminations later, Wu Rwei-ren said China is sounding the battle horn for a new US-China cold war by proposing a national security law for Hong Kong while the West is preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, an academic said yesterday. Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History associate research fellow Wu Ruei-ren (吳叡人) made the comments at a news conference in Taipei, saying that he was representing the Economic Democracy Union’s research branch. The resolution signals China’s abandonment of the “one country, two systems” framework, as it prepares to take full control of Hong Kong, ending the era of Hong Kong as an international financial center, which was made
Suspension of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) would be the equivalent of cutting off Hong Kong, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. “Without [the act], how will you stand with the people of Hong Kong?” Chiang asked outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday wrote on Facebook that Taiwan, like all democratic nations, stands with the people of Hong Kong as she expressed concern over China’s plan to impose a national security law for Hong Kong. For security reasons, Tsai said her administration would consider invoking Article 60 of