China calling for vapor regulations

Chinese tobacco regulators are calling for comprehensive regulations on electronic cigarettes, which currently occupy a regulatory gray area, according to Chinese press reports.

The regulators seem to accept without question that e-cigarettes are tobacco products and imply that they believe that the nicotine in most e-cigarettes “makes second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes harmful.”

Zhang Jianshu, president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association, said his association was calling for a prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in public.

The report said there were no regulations on e-cigarettes in China in respect of healthcare, production management or their use in public places.

It said the call to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public had come after several high-profile incidents that had raised a “red flag” on the issue.

“Last month, two Air China pilots’ licenses were revoked after a vaping incident in the cockpit sent the plane to an emergency descent of more than 6,500 meter (21,000 feet) due to the sudden loss of cabin pressure,” the report said.

“In the same week, a passenger smoking an e-cigarette in a Beijing subway carriage stirred debate on social media about whether or not e-cigarettes should be considered smoking.”

Zhang was quoted as saying that e-cigarettes usually contained nicotine, “which makes second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes harmful.”