Most e-cigarettes are smuggled into Vietnam: VCCI

By Duc Minh   August 18, 2023 | 09:48 pm PT
Most e-cigarettes are smuggled into Vietnam: VCCI
A person smokes with an e-cigarette. Photo by AFP
Most e-cigarettes sold in Vietnam are smuggled ones and there are no strict legal framework to control this type of product, a leader of the Vietnam Federation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has said.

The fact that e-cigarettes are not regulated will have major impact on consumers’ health, and it also causes a dent in tax collection.

Doctor Nguyen Hai Cong, head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases at Military Hospital 175, said that there are around 16 million cigarette users in Vietnam.

E-cigarettes seem to be gaining popularity among young people and students.

Although this type of cigarette has less toxic chemical, it still contains nicotine that can cause heart and nerve issues, he said, adding that many young people however seem to believe that e-cigarettes cause no negative health impact.

"There should be a legal framework to control this product and reduce smuggling."

Kieu Duong, head of policy and legal at Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said that many e-cigarette smuggles have been caught in recent months.

In the first six months 81 smuggles have been caught in Hanoi with nearly 20,000 items confiscated.

Hai Phong police have recently busted a large batch of e-cigarettes with 54,000 products.

The highest financial penalty for this type of smuggling is at VND50 million ($2,100), which is too small to scare criminals, Duong said, adding that new regulations and policies need to be drafted concerning e-cigarettes.

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