Electronic cigarette industry ushered in strict supervision

  Cool packaging, fruit flavors and co-branded marketing have attracted many people, especially teenagers, to e-cigarettes in recent years.

The reporter learned that electronic cigarettes first appeared as a smoking cessation product, and then some merchants launched various novel products under the guise of being fashionable and not addictive, resulting in chaos in the industry.

  As the harmfulness of electronic cigarettes is gradually recognized, the supervision of electronic cigarettes has become increasingly strict.

From May 1, the "Measures for the Administration of Electronic Cigarettes" was officially implemented, which clearly prohibited the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes other than tobacco flavors and electronic cigarettes that can be added with atomizers.

  Why are flavored e-cigarettes banned?

What new norms will the e-cigarette market usher in?

The reporter conducted an interview and investigation.

10.1% of college students have used e-cigarettes

  Xiao Xia, an associate professor at the School of Public Health of Kunming Medical University in Yunnan Province, said that the components of e-cigarettes usually include nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and flavors, and generally have less toxic content than traditional cigarettes.

However, some consumers believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful, and they will continue to smoke. They smoke more times a day than cigarettes, so the amount of poisons inhaled has not decreased.

  "The content of nicotine in a common closed refillable electronic cigarette is 5%, or 59mg/ml, which is equivalent to smoking 20 traditional cigarettes." Xiao Xia said.

  21-year-old Li Li is a heavy user of e-cigarettes.

He told reporters that after being recommended by a friend, he tried electronic cigarettes for a period of time, but he did not expect to get caught up in it, and the consumption of e-liquid was getting faster and faster. Now I can’t last for a week, and I spend 700 to 800 yuan a month on e-cigarettes.”

  The 2021 tobacco epidemic monitoring results released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently showed that the proportion of middle school students who have used e-cigarettes has increased, the proportion of college students who have used e-cigarettes is 10.1%, and the proportion who are using e-cigarettes is 2.5%.

Another data shows that the number of people who are 15 years old and above smoking e-cigarettes in my country reaches 10 million, mainly young people aged 15 to 24.

  Li Weilin, manager of the senior tobacco control project of Yunnan Chaoyi Health Consulting Center, said that the reason why e-cigarettes "target" teenagers is mainly because teenagers are curious, easy to accept new things, and lack a clear understanding of e-cigarettes and other products. In many cases , they will use e-cigarettes as a "fashionable, cool, comparison" behavior.

Teens prefer fruit-flavored e-cigarettes

  In October 2021, the "Research Report on E-Cigarette Marketing and Its Impact on Adolescent Health" released by the Institute of Health Communication of Fudan University showed that among the surveyed teenagers, nearly half of them began to use e-cigarettes for the first time in junior high school at the age of 13-15. cigarettes, and the flavors most used by teens who have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days were fruit flavors.

  According to relevant WHO data, there are currently about 16,000 flavors of e-cigarette products on the market.

Among the electronic cigarettes sold in China, there are also emerging flavors such as "lemon honey water", "jasmine dragon well" and "peach soda".

  On April 25th, outside a shopping mall in Kunming, the reporter met Mo Jinyun, a junior with an electronic cigarette shopping bag. She showed the reporter three "strawberry snow ice" flavored pods in the bag, saying "fruit pods". The flavored electronic cigarette smells sweet and has a high degree of fruit flavor reduction, which can help relieve the psychological pressure of exam preparation."

  Mo Jinyun bluntly stated that after the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued the "Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarettes" in March this year, the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes was banned, which had a great impact on herself. Just bought it at the store.

  Recently, the reporter learned from an electronic cigarette collection store in a shopping mall in Kunming that since May, fruit-flavored electronic cigarettes have been removed from the shelves according to regulations.

  The person in charge of the store revealed: "Among the e-cigarette products, the sales volume of tobacco-flavored cartridges is extremely low. After the implementation of the new regulations, a large number of customers have been lost, and the store's turnover has dropped significantly." However, he believes that with the supervision of With the continuous improvement of the system, the e-cigarette market will be more standardized, which is conducive to long-term development.

  Li Li told reporters that before the implementation of the new regulations, he stocked up 10 boxes of electronic cigarettes with flavors such as pineapple and white peach, but considering the impact of electronic cigarettes on the body, he plans to quit smoking after smoking these.

Electronic cigarette industry ushered in the era of strong supervision

  In addition to restricting flavors, the management measures also make it clear that the sale of e-cigarette products to minors is prohibited.

E-cigarette operators should set up a sign in a prominent position not to sell e-cigarettes to minors, and if it is difficult to judge whether they are minors, they should be required to show their identity documents.

  Recently, the reporter visited a number of e-cigarette franchise stores in Kunming and saw that each store had similar signs such as "Minors are prohibited from purchasing and using".

"If the customer looks younger, we will ask them to show their ID for verification," said a staff member at one of the stores.

  The staff member said that e-cigarettes are not allowed to be sold online, and the operation of physical stores is relatively standardized, but there are also merchants who will let customers add WeChat, communicate directly with information, and then express or deliver to their homes. This method may exist for minors Risks of buying e-cigarettes.

  In order to keep minors away from e-cigarettes, the new regulations also propose that those engaged in e-cigarette retail business should apply to the tobacco monopoly administrative department in accordance with the law to obtain a tobacco monopoly retail license or change the scope of the license.

Ordinary primary and secondary schools, special education schools, secondary vocational schools, specialized schools, and kindergartens are not allowed to set up electronic cigarette product sales outlets.

  The reporter visited and found that at present, the stores selling electronic cigarettes basically only have business licenses, and none of them have ever applied for a tobacco monopoly retail license.

The staff of the Complaint Center of the Consumers Association of Yunnan Province said that as a fast-moving consumer product, e-cigarettes will have a clear regulatory body, sales will be more standardized, and the e-cigarette industry will also enter a new stage with rules to follow.

  (Some respondents in this article are pseudonyms)