Health Promotion Administration (HPA) Deputy Director-General Wu Chao-chun (吳昭軍) yesterday said his agency was seeking to amend the Tobacco Hazard Prevention and Control Act (菸害防制法) to ban the import and sale of heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
During the two-month preview period for the draft amendments, which ended at the end of last month, the HPA received more than 4,000 letters from members of the public expressing conflicting opinions on the proposed bans.
Letters from tobacco companies mostly criticized proposals to enlarge the warnings printed on cigarette packages to 85 percent of the front surface area and to raise the legal age for smoking from 18 to 20, Wu said.
Photo: Lin Ching-lun, Taipei Times
The larger the warnings are, the less effective the tobacco companies’ advertisements would be, he said.
The HPA hopes to submit the draft amendments to the Ministry of Health and Welfare at the end of this month, which would forward them to the Executive Yuan next month for review, he said.
Asked why the proposals described heated tobacco products as “novel cigarette products,” Wu said that tobacco companies often change their products’ names.
“One day it is heated tobacco, another day it is called something else. It is impossible to amend the act because of new terms,” Wu said, adding that the HPA’s proposals are aimed at safeguarding public health.
Regarding illicit sales of vaping devices as stickers, jelly or toothpaste, Wu said that the issue is targeted by the draft amendments, but that until they are passed by lawmakers, the HPA can only ask the National Communications Commission to remove such listings from online shopping Web sites.
The HPA is also to submit a draft concerning the removal of mislabeled tobacco products from online shopping Web sites, he added.
Currently, the agency can fine sellers of mislabeled vaping devices up to NT$50,000, based on Article 14 of the act, HPA Tobacco Control Division Director Chen Miao-hsin (陳妙心) said.
National Cheng Kung University physician Chen Chuan-yu (陳全裕) said that he estimated a 5 percent increase in e-cigarette use.
Some junior-high and senior-high school students think that e-cigarettes are cool, but are oblivious to the grave harm they can cause, he said.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn