A large city in China has become the first to pass a ban on vaping in certain public places
Vaping regulations have been handled very differently across the globe. Some countries, such as the UK, have fully embraced e-cigarettes for their harm reduction and smoking cessation value. Meanwhile, nations like Australia have taken an extremely hardline stance on vaping, making it incredibly hard to get them there. Despite the growing evidence in favor of vaping, most places fall somewhere in between these two extremes. But a recently passed bill may signal the beginning of a seismic shift in the attitude toward vaping in China.
A large percentage of people remain concerned about the full impact of vaping, especially in regards to long-term effects on the youth. This uncertainty, which seems to have started taking hold in China, has manifested into crippling regulations which threaten the viability of vaping moving forward. So as the first official law limiting the usage of vaping was just passed, many are now worried this move could snowball into an uncontrollable avalanche which eventually places vaping manufacturers in a serious bind.
The First Vaping Bans
This first of its kind ban in China was passed in the large city of Hangzhou. The capital and most populous city of the Zhejiang Province in East China had been mulling over potential vaping regulations for several months. In passing their public e-cigarette ban, they became the first city in all of China to implement these limitations. Published on January 1st, the revision to the Regulations on the Control of Smoking in Public Places designates “harmful electronic smoke mist” as under the jurisdiction of existent smoking bans.
The ban applies to all indoor public places and workplaces, including public transportation. Some of the only public spaces spared from the regulations are entertainment venues. But even those will eventually have to adhere to the ban on public vaping or face hefty fines. However, these businesses will have until the end of 2021 to create adequate spaces for smokers and vapers. For individuals, failing to follow the new law will result in a small fine, which quadruples if ignored. But the fines are much harsher for business owners and proprietors who fail to meet standards, reaching as high as around 4500 USD.
The Case For Vaping
These new regulations and the many like them passed around the world, seemingly fly in the face of the growing consensus researchers have on vaping. We’ve known since back in 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, but this figure has been backed up time and time again. As recently as last month researchers concluded that vaping contains around 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. If that wasn’t a good enough reason, we also have research which indicates the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker. But the benefits don’t just end with how much safer vaping is than smoking.
We also have plenty of research which suggests concerns over the teenage vaping “epidemic” may be massively overblown. A report of over 60,000 students concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are even picking up vaping full time, let alone making the jump to traditional cigarettes. But perhaps the most significant use of vaping is the massive smoking cessation value they offer. A report published by the University of Louisville concluded that not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it’s actually the most likely to lead to a successful attempt. Even beating out popular new prescription drugs, such as Chantix.
Bans are becoming commonplace around the globe. If even the country which produces the highest number of vaping products is also in favor of vaping bans, what hope do most other countries honestly have? That’s why it’s as important as ever that we work to spread the positive information about vaping to those in our lives. It’s most important to ensure that smokers understand everything vaping has to offer them, but it’s also important we improve the public perception of vaping overall. After all, if we even want to secure and protect our vaping rights, we must have the support of more than just smokers. With smoking still the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world, we must work to help vaping reach its full potential as a smoking cessation and harm reduction tool.
Are bans like this a sign of things to come? How should we spread positive information to the smokers in our lives? Do you think it’s crucial to educate non-smokers as well as smokers about the benefits of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.