China plans to join governments that are imposing controls on tobacco liquid and additives for e-cigarettes amid rising concern about deaths and illnesses blamed on vaping, a state news agency said Tuesday. Rules due out as early as next month also will cover e-cigarette devices and packaging, the China News Service said, citing unidentified sources at the State Tobacco Monopoly. India banned sales of e-cigarettes this month and regulators in the United States and other countries are imposing controls following a surge in deaths and illnesses blamed on vaping, the AP reports.
Makers of e-cigarettes including Juul Labs Inc. have promoted them as being safer than standard cigarettes, but the FDA says no vaping product has been reviewed and found to be less harmful than traditional tobacco products. China is the most populous global tobacco market, with an estimated 350 million smokers. India is No. 2. Companies in the Chinese e-cigarette industry invested at least $140 million in 2018 and 35 deals were made in the first half of this year, according to CNS. China banned sales of e-cigarettes to people under 18 in August 2018. In July, the country's National Health Commission said studies showed the aerosol generated by e-cigarettes contains toxic elements and additives pose health risks, according to CNS. (Walmart is going to stop selling e-cigarettes.)