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China Bans Online Sales of E-Cigarettes?

There are “news” stories all over the net on this “ban” by China on online internet e-cigarette sales. I have found nothing indicating that this ban extends to the export of such products and am at a loss to understand exactly what this ban entails. Does anyone else have any information regarding this? Here is one of the stories as reported by a Chinese source: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3035975/china-stubs-out-online-access-e-cigarettes-amid-health-concerns

One story I read said that Alibaba declined comment on this…If China stops distributing devices it is going to kill much of the market regardless of the pending US regulations/prohibitions.

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Here is the translated text of the ban.

Administration of the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau national markets
to advertise
2019 No. 1
Notice concerning the protection of minors from further infringement of the electronic cigarette

2019-11-01

On August 28, 2018 , the State Administration of Markets and the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau issued the Notice on Prohibiting the Sale of Electronic Cigarettes to Minors (State Administration of the State Administration of Taxation, State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau Notice No. 26, 2018, below Referred to as the “Notice”. Since the publication of the “Notice”, the awareness of the community to protect minors from e-cigarettes has generally increased, and the phenomenon of directly promoting and selling e-cigarettes to minors has improved. But at the same time, it is also found that minors still know, buy and smoke electronic cigarettes through the Internet. Even e-cigarette companies are blindly pursuing economic interests, and publicizing, promoting and selling e-cigarettes through the Internet poses a huge threat to the physical and mental health of minors. To further protect minors from e-cigarettes, the relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:

As a supplement to traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes have their own safety and health risks. They are more selective in raw material selection, additive use, process design, quality control, etc. Some products have smoke leaks and inferior batteries. Quality safety hazards such as the addition of unsafe ingredients. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors, in order to strengthen the protection of the physical and mental health of minors, various market entities may not sell electronic cigarettes to minors. Any organization or individual should dissuade and stop the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

At the same time, in order to further strengthen the protection of minors’ physical and mental health and prevent minors from purchasing and smoking electronic cigarettes through the Internet, we urge electronic cigarette production and sales enterprises or individuals to close the electronic cigarette Internet in time from the date of issuance of this circular. Selling websites or clients; urging e-commerce platforms to close e-cigarette stores in time and timely removing e-cigarette products; urging e-cigarette production and sales companies or individuals to withdraw e-cigarette advertisements posted via the Internet.

The tobacco monopoly administrative departments and market supervision and administration departments at all levels shall earnestly strengthen the promotion and implementation of this notice to protect minors from e-cigarettes. The tobacco monopoly administrative department shall increase the market supervision of e-cigarette products, strengthen the monitoring, dissuasion and suppression of the promotion and sale of e-cigarettes through the Internet, and investigate or notify relevant departments of all kinds of illegal activities discovered.

Now I know that China has banned Juul and I am wondering if this translation is correct and it is just specific to Juul or it is a local ban of everything - there is no mention of international (not to say that it isn’t a total ban) But I have not heard a peep from any suppliers although I did notice that at least one supplier I buy from has set up a sister site on an AU domain to ship from their AU based warehouse.

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The language sounds pretty global… “urging e-commerce platforms to close e-cigarette stores in time and timely removing e-cigarette products; urging e-cigarette production and sales companies or individuals to withdraw e-cigarette advertisements posted via the Internet.”

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Yes but the translation may not be accurate is what I mean it could well be more specific that e-cigarette.

Original source
http://www.tobacco.gov.cn/html/49/89730171_n.html

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looks like Chinese to me …may as well be from the House of Representatives :frowning:

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I respect the fact that at least they’re COMPLETELY up front about the MONOPOLY aspect.

I also doubt seriously that they’d have a problem with exporting… I read it as taking strictly internal actions (though I of course could be wrong).

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Hong Kong has had a ban in place for quite sometime now and some companies still ship out of HK so I am not sure that the ban isn’t more specific as I mentioned earlier.

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All of the Chinese manufacturers that I have looked at are still selling, hopefully it is only a Chinese domestic restriction. In the event it isn’t they are all going to be dumping product immediately.

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Using Google Translate on the text from these two web-pages (the 2nd is referenced at bottom of the 1st):

http://www.tobacco.gov.cn/html/49/89730171_n.html

http://www.tobacco.gov.cn/html/27/2703/270301/89730174_n.html

… it appears to be an (internal to China) internet sales ban (rather than a ban on sales to non-minors) ?

From the (latter) “Interpretation of the Policy” information link document:

In order to further protect minors from e-cigarettes and strengthen the supervision of e-cigarette market, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the State Administration of Markets have jointly issued the Notice on Further Protecting Minors from E-cigarettes. The General Administration of Market Supervision of the Tobacco Monopoly Administration Notice No. 1 of 2019) requires all market entities not to sell electronic cigarettes to minors; urge electronic cigarette production and sales enterprises or individuals to close e-cigarette Internet sales websites or clients in a timely manner, The e-commerce platform timely shut down the e-cigarette shop and timely removed the e-cigarette products. The e-cigarette production and sales companies or individuals withdrew the e-cigarette advertisements released through the Internet.

One could read the above language as mandating cessation of (all) internet sales out of China, however - at least those to private individuals, as opposed to established businesses. No mention of “minors” as being restricted to those residing/purchasing within China alone (though those minors are all that they can control).

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… the main content of the notice

Reiterating the main contents of the “Notice on Prohibiting the Sale of Electronic Cigarettes to Minors” jointly issued by the State Administration of Markets Supervision and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration last year, suggesting the safety risks and health hazards of electronic cigarettes, requiring all market entities not to Minors sell e-cigarettes; require any organization or individual to discourage and stop the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

To further increase the protection of minors’ physical and mental health, prevent minors from purchasing and smoking e-cigars through the Internet, and urge e-cigarette production and sales companies or individuals to close e-cigarette Internet sales websites or clients in a timely manner; urge e-commerce platform Close the e-cigarette store in time and remove the e-cigarette products in time; urge e-cigarette production and sales companies or individuals to withdraw e-cigarette advertisements posted via the Internet.

It is required that the tobacco monopoly administrative departments and market supervision and management departments at all levels should strengthen the publicity and implementation of this notice to protect minors from e-cigarettes. In particular, the competent departments of tobacco monopoly at all levels should increase market supervision of e-cigarette products, strengthen the monitoring, dissuasion and suppression of the promotion and sale of e-cigarettes through the Internet, and investigate or notify relevant violations of various types of illegal activities. department.

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(Anti-vaping Michael Bloomberg owned news media web-page interpretation):
All websites and apps selling e-cigarettes are to be shut down and all online marketing campaigns halted, according to a statement by the country’s state tobacco monopoly administration and state administration for market regulation on Friday.

(Reuters, Shanghai):
China’s tobacco regulator on Friday issued a notice asking e-commerce platforms and businesses to shut online stores that sell electronic cigarette products, in a move aimed at stopping minors from purchasing e-cigarettes through the internet.

(New York Times):
To some, the notice, was as clear as a room filled with smoke. The vaguely worded statement, which was published on Friday on the websites of the State Administration of Markets and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, left open questions about whether it qualified as a ban and whether it would be enforced. “There is no law and regulation in China that forbids the online sale of e-cigarette yet,” said Ou Junbiao, head of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Committee of China. Mr. Ou said he thought that the regulator was worried about losing the tax revenue stream it gets from selling cigarettes. Despite the ambiguity, some players moved quickly. Just hours after the notice was published, three online platforms removed e-cigarette products from their offerings.

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… state monopoly China Tobacco, which is the world’s biggest cigarette maker and provides the government with colossal tax revenues.

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World’s Largest Cigarette Maker Plans IPO for Its International Business”:

China National Tobacco Corp., a state monopoly that’s by far the biggest cigarette maker in the world, plans to list its international unit on the Hong Kong stock exchange even as pressure increases on the government to curb smoking. The unit, China Tobacco International (HK) Co., is primarily responsible for procuring overseas tobacco leaf from countries like Brazil and Canada for the cigarette giant, which churns out four of every 10 sticks made in the world. The parent company may clock more profit than either HSBC Holdings Plc or Walmart Inc., according to a rare glimpse of financial data in 2012. The international unit accounts for a tiny portion of China Tobacco’s overall business, which has a bigger market share than the next five global tobacco companies combined. However, the listing represents a rare opening up of the state monopoly that’s facing growing domestic concerns over China’s high rates of cancer and smoking-related disease. … China is the largest tobacco-consuming and -manufacturing country in the world … In 2016, the industry contributed profit and tax of 1.1 trillion yuan ($160 billion), according to China Tobacco’s website. The monopoly otherwise doesn’t publish financial data voluntarily. In 2012, a bank that it was buying a stake in released figures that showed the cigarette giant had sales of 770.4 billion yuan and net income of 117.7 billion yuan in 2010.

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So, (perhaps) the picture becomes more clear. The Chinese State itself (not just corporations that try to buy legislators, as in the U.S.) sees “vaping” as a direct threat to Tobacco revenues (on an international level). “Following” the lead from the specious U.S. claims of protecting “public health”, they are also playing similar dis-information games. All of the Chinese “vaping” industries put together are likely dwarfed by the CNTC. Thus, one might not expect the Chinese State to value, or to act to protect, smaller “private enterprises”.

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It would make no sense to fock all their domestic manufacturers overnight. I really don’t find a reason they would want to do that. Export definitely stays imo.

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Until one recognizes that such “private enterprises” directly threaten larger Chinese State revenues:thinking:

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Out of (Chinese) press entity, some indications of deliberate “Orwellian mind-bendings” may here exist:

The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) and the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) jointly released a notice aimed at further reducing minors’ exposure to vaping products and strengthening supervision of the industry.

Chinese authorities on Friday stepped up bans on selling e-cigarettes to minors as well as online sales and ads of vaping over health and safety concerns.

The notice forbids all types of market entities from selling e-cigarettes to minors. Said entities are urged to shut down online sales in a timely manner and withdraw online ads.

NOW FOR THE UTTERLY PHANTASMAGORIAL:

“A complement to traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes pose greater health and safety risks especially to minors,” an official with the STMA told Xinhua. A majority of e-cigarette makers are indiscreet in raw material selection, additive use, process design and quality control, and there are serious safety hazards such as unsafe ingredients, cigarette liquid leakage and inferior batteries, the official said.

The boiler-plate abstruse fear-seeding amidst the utter amorphous confusions of their utterances:

The STMA, the SAMR and other departments will take more stringent measures to clean up online e-commerce platforms, e-cigarette makers’ marketing websites and e-cigarette shops in accordance with the law, and crack down on the illegal production and sales of e-cigarettes, so as to effectively safeguard the lawful rights and interests of minors and health of consumers, the STMA official said.

Source: ChinaNews (November 2, 2019): “China toughens sales, ads ban on vaping

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Matt from SMM said earlier that the Ban is Domestic …It should not effect us

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National Law Review (August 7, 2019):

China has taken a major step toward permitting the sale of regulated e-cigarettes by publishing a draft national standard (GB) on “electronic cigarettes.” The Standard was notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 1, 2019. …

… The comprehensive new Standard consists of the following seven chapters:

  1. Scope
  2. Reference standards
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Technical requirements
  5. Testing methods
  6. Packaging, labeling and instruction manual
  7. Storage and transportation

The Standard also contains sixteen appendices, including those on the methods for the determination of various substances in the e-liquid, sample labels of e-cigarette device and e-liquid, etc. Particularly, Appendix B provides a positive list of 119 additives that are permitted for use in e-liquid. The use of non-listed additives will be subject to prior safety assessment, with considerations on the edible safety, inhalation safety, stability, addiction, etc. of a substance. We expect that more details about the safety assessment on non-listed substances will be provided in separate regulations. Certain additives also are explicitly prohibited from being used in e-liquid, such as substances purely for coloring purposes, carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductive toxic and respiratory toxic substances, 2,3-butanedione, etc.

Other notable technical requirements under the draft Standard include:

For e-cigarette device:

§ Mechanic and physical performance, such as sealing, maximum surface temperature, etc.;

§ Electrical performance, such as input/output power, batteries, etc.; and

§ Chemical performance; for example, materials used for components in contact with the mouth or e-liquid must comply with the corresponding food packaging standards of China, such as GB 4806.7 on plastics articles, GB 9685 on food packaging additives, etc.

For e-liquid:

§ Purity and concentration limits for nicotine;

§ Requirements for base liquid, including glycerin, propylene glycol and water;

§ Limits for impurities and contaminants; and

§ Requirements for material in contact with e-liquid; they must comply with the corresponding food packaging standards.

For emissions:

§ Stability of aerosol and nicotine emissions; and

§ Limits for carbonyl compounds and heavy metals.

The new Chinese Standard on e-cigarettes will be published by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), but the agency responsible for drafting and maintaining the Standard is the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration. It is unclear when this Standard will be finalized and published; Chinese authorities may release the Standard later this year. Nevertheless, the new Standard will have a significant impact on the regulatory landscape of the manufacturing, sales and import of e-cigarette products in China. Industry should be mindful of its development and make sure that the e-cigarette products manufactured or imported in China entirely comply with the detailed requirements under the new Standard.

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(Chemical Watch, August 13, 2019):

China publishes first draft of e-cigarette standard
Country looks to regulate device components and additives

The standard provides a positive list of 119 additives that can be used in e-liquids in English and Chinese with Cas numbers, where available. But it does not impose a maximum use limit on these, which it says can be used “according to production needs”. Additives must also comply with the national standard GB 9685, which governs additives in FCMs and products.

It also sets out the methods for determining the presence, as well as the specific concentration limits for, impurities or pollutants found in e-liquids. These focus on:

  • nitrosamine;
  • methanol;
  • benzene;
  • toluene;
  • ethylbenzene;
  • xylene;
  • formaldehyde;
  • acetaldehyde;
  • propionaldehyde; and
  • 2,3-butanedione.

And it includes methods for determining the release of certain chemicals in e-cigarette emissions.

While governmental bodies are responsible for publishing the standard, it was proposed, managed and drafted by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration. The Administration and the China National Tobacco Corporation are collectively known as China Tobacco, which drafts all legislation on tobacco.

The proposed date for entry into force is six months after the proposed date for adoption, which is yet to be determined.

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Seems the new regime’s stance and proclamation is contradictory to this August position…

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Chinese Manufacturers Dumping Product on the U.S. Market - Some of the best and most responsible e-cigarette manufacturers in the world are in a small industrial park in Shenzhen, China. But all told, there are about 600 factories in that same industrial park making e-cigs. Many, if not most, make cheap and counterfeit devices and sell them to Americans with impunity. The product dumping includes millions of unregistered, high-nicotine disposable vape sticks, which only look like JUUL, that our kids are buying at the corner store for $10 or less. … The tariffs on Chinese products imported into the United States have had little impact on product dumping. The less-scrupulous factories and counterfeiters view tariffs as an opportunity to further undercut legitimate operators. After all, there are manufacturers in China always ready to accept the challenge of cutting another corner to make something even cheaper.

(September 12, 2019): “Vaping: China Is the Real Problem

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Wait… did not China… refuse Juul?

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A representative from 2fvape assures us that this ban applies to domestic sales only. Chinese access to these sites is already blocked. The largest exporter of ecigs is aliexpress owned by alibaba owned by China.

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Man, It.s like everything is falling apart right in front of me ???

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