E-cigarettes confuse Vietnamese authorities

By Bui Hong Nhung   July 9, 2016 | 03:00 pm GMT+7

Are e-cigarettes cigarettes and where do they come from? That is the question.

The electronic cigarette craze among youngsters, known as vaping, has swept through Vietnam like a storm, troubling state authorities along the way.

Each e-cigarette is composed of a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge that holds nicotine and other liquids and flavorings.

Hanoi's news portal quoted a representative from the anti-smuggling team under Hanoi’s Police, saying that most products sold in Vietnam are claimed to be imported from the U.S., Canada and European countries. However, inspection results indicate that e-cigarette sellers are often unable to prove their items' origin.

The representative added that e-cigarettes are smoked in many bars and karaokes, where many people can take advantage of this device to consume illegal drugs or entice youngsters to take part in.

Chu Xuan Kien, head of the Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that e-cigarettes are tricky because it's unclear whether they should be treated by law enforcement as traditional cigarettes or not. No specific rules related to e-cigarettes have been introduced so far, Kien added.

Previously, on June 30, anti-smuggling team under Hanoi’s Police inspected three business sites in the city, seizing thousands of e-cigarettes as well as their attached liquids without clear origin.

To date, there’s been no official research into the health effects of e-cigarettes, but Doctor Ngo Van Kha from the National Hospital of Lung Diseases said that e-cigarettes still have nicotine, which causes cigarette addiction.

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