China Daily Asia: Black market warning over E-cig ban

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HONG KONG - An association of pro-e cigarette advocates is pleading to the government for regulations rather than an outright ban.

The Asian Vape Association (AVA) argue a total ban would only drive their trade into the black market and comes after the government signaled its intention to prohibit the import and sale of electronic cigarettes.

Anti-tobacco group, Council on Smoking and Health, support such a ban, noting e-cigarettes still exposed users to toxic and carcinogenic substances.

AVA chairman Nav Lalji said the ban on public health grounds would only create a black market, noting many of the world’s e-cigarettes are manufactured just north of the city in Shenzhen while similar blanket bans have given rise to underground markets in Thailand and Singapore.

AVA suggests sales of e-cigarettes be regulated and limited to those over 18 years of age, citing medical studies which claim the new form of smoking is 95 percent less harmful than conventional tobacco and served as a segue for users trying to quit.

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