Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine governed by law
4 Mar 2009
The Department of Health (DH) today (March 4) called on smokers not to use electronic cigarettes as the safety, efficacy and quality of this kind of product have to be established.
A DH spokesman said initial laboratory analysis on a sample of electronic cigarettes revealed that it contained nicotine.
The spokesman stressed that under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, electronic cigarettes containing nicotine and marketed as tobacco cessation products were classified as pharmaceutical product requiring registration in Hong Kong.
He said that investigations by DH had indicated that several brands of electronic cigarettes were found on sale on internet and in individual local shops.
DH raided a shop in Sham Shui Po earlier today, resulting in the seizure of nine types of electronic cigarettes. DH’s investigations are in progress.
DH has also instructed the parties concerned to remove electronic cigarettes advertisements and promotional materials from their websites.
The spokesman said possession or sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product, and possession of Part I poisons without authority were both liable on conviction to a $100 000 fine and two years’ imprisonment.
He urged members of the public who have been using electronic cigarette to stop using it immediately.
They should destroy and dispose of the products or submit them to the DH’s Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.
Smokers who want to quit smoking should seek advice from medical professionals. Information on smoking cessation can be obtained at the Tobacco Control Office website.