The New Taipei City Council passed the draft New Taipei City self-government ordinance for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco devices on its third reading on April 29. In addition to stipulating that people under the age of 18 are not allowed to smoke or possess e-cigarettes and heated smoking devices, the ordinance also prohibits the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in New Taipei City. This means in effect that e-cigarettes will not be allowed in New Taipei City in future. Offenders will be fined from NT$10,000 up to NT$100,000 and may be fined consecutively per violation or ordered to suspend their business or manufacture.
Chen Ran-chou, Commissioner of New Taipei City Government’s Department of Health, said that according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s National Health Agency, the number of young people smoking e-cigarettes has increased. However, the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act only regulates the prohibition of tobacco imports and sales, and there is no law applicable to those who bring in e-cigarettes from abroad for their own use and possession. In addition, the penalty for illegally selling e-cigarettes is only a fine of NT$1,000 to NT$3,000. Moreover, the penalties apply only to cigarette-shaped devices — but electronic cigarettes come in various shapes and forms, so that businesses that sell non-cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes tend to win their appeals after being fined.
Now that the New Taipei City self-government ordinance for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco devices has been passed, it will be processed by the Executive Yuan for approval. After approval, the ordinance will be promulgated and go into force in three months, making New Taipei City the seventh city or county to have such an ordinance regulating e-cigarettes, following Hsinchu City, Taichung, Chiayi County, Yilan County, Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, but New Taipei City’s regulations are by far the strictest.
Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者黃美珠
(Translated by Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
Photo: AFP 照片：法新社
Despite anonymous accusations and attacks online, the Rising Star Rhythmic Gymnastics Association, founded last year by Ukraine-born Taiwanese entertainer Larisa Bakurova, has won acclaim internationally. On May 2, Bakurova announced that athletes from her association won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at this year’s Gym Kids Eastern Cup. Bakurova, who is a former rhythmic gymnast, obtained her National ID Card to become a “new Taiwanese resident” in 2019. She said her association would continue to work hard, while expressing her appreciation for the public’s support while she faced the mud-slinging. Late last month, a netizen attacked her anonymously
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