Q: E-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes. Why is Eleafworld.FR e-cigarettes banned in Hong Kong?
A: In October last year, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in her 2018 policy address that Hong Kong would ban e-cigarettes. Moreover, it is reported that the Hong Kong medical community has already called for a ban on e-cigarettes before, and has also established a major alliance to ban e-cigarettes, urging the SAR government to ban emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated cigarettes as soon as possible.
This news may be the direct reason why many friends have turned sour about e-cigarettes in recent days. It is true that e-cigarettes are harmful to health, and it is not wrong to ban e-cigarettes in Hong Kong. In addition to Hong Kong, 16 countries including Singapore, Brazil, and the Philippines have also banned the sales of e-cigarettes. But the strange thing is that the United States, Britain, France and other countries whose medical level exceeds that of Hong Kong have not banned e-cigarettes.
This is not because these countries are unaware of the risks of vaping, but public health policymaking must weigh the pros and cons.
The premise of Hong Kong’s comprehensive ban on electronic cigarettes is that it is the world’s leading tobacco control policy. The data shows that from the birth of Hong Kong’s first anti-smoking law in 1982 to the revision of the “Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance” in 2012, smoking is prohibited in places with ceilings, and the proportion of smokers over the age of 15 in Hong Kong is now controlled below 10%. The proportion of young people aged between 15 and 19 who smoke has dropped to 1%, far exceeding the level of tobacco control in Europe and the United States. The harm of cigarettes to public health in Hong Kong has been effectively controlled.
Under this premise, although the harm of electronic cigarettes is far less than that of cigarettes, due to the small base of smokers, it will not play a significant role in reducing the proportion of smokers in the population, but may cause young people to be induced. Therefore, A blanket ban is the option in the best interests of the majority.
In countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, the proportion of smokers is much higher. As a harm reduction product that is far less harmful than cigarettes, electronic cigarettes have a significant effect on reducing the number of smokers, especially the harm of second-hand smoke. Therefore, although the FDA has issued regulatory measures for electronic cigarettes, it has never mentioned a complete ban.
It is worth mentioning that although the Hong Kong medical community has emphasized the harm of electronic cigarettes, no one has ever said that electronic cigarettes are more harmful than cigarettes.
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