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Public awareness and regulation of e-cigarettes need to be improved


Recently, a video shows a woman smoking an e-cigarettes in the seat of Shanghai Metro Line 8. Shanghai Metro customer service said that smoking is prohibited in the subway, and e-cigarettes are also cigarettes. If they can be reported in time, the staff will dissuade them.

Public awareness and regulation of e-cigarettes need to be improved

Searching the Internet shows that as early as September 2016, some people were exposed on the Internet for smoking e-cigarettes in Shanghai subway cars. At that time, the Shanghai metro operation and management department made it clear that smoking, including electronic cigarette, was completely prohibited within the scope of rail transportation facilities such as subway cars. However, compared with traditional tobacco, the public awareness of e-cigarette is still insufficient, which may affect the effect of social supervision.

In May this year, Shanghai Health Promotion Committee and Shanghai Health and Health Commission held a press conference on "World No Tobacco Day". Relevant experts released "expert consensus on e-cigarette" on behalf of the tobacco disease group of respiratory branch of Shanghai Medical Association. "Consensus" clearly pointed out that e-cigarette oil contains nicotine, organic solvents and other harmful substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can damage organs and even cause cancer. E-cigarette as a smoking cessation tool lacks evidence-based medical evidence, production standards and industry regulation.

According to the results of the 2019 tobacco survey of Chinese middle school students released by the China Center for Disease Control and prevention, the proportion of junior high school students who have heard of e-cigarettes and now use e-cigarettes has increased significantly in the past five years. In 2019, 69.9% of junior high school students have heard of e-cigarettes. Now, the utilization rate of e-cigarettes is 2.7%, which is 24.9% and 1.5% higher than that in 2014. This reflects that the impact of e-cigarettes on young people has not received enough attention.

In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to electronic cigarette. Last July, who issued a report confirming that e-cigarettes are harmful and should be regulated. Similarly, last year, the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau and the State Administration of market supervision and Administration issued a circular requiring that electronic cigarettes should not be sold to minors, or sold through the Internet, nor should e-cigarettes be advertised through the Internet. Then, eight departments of the state jointly issued a document to comprehensively publicize the hazards of e-cigarettes and standardize management.

Since the amendment to the regulations of Shanghai Municipality on the control of smoking in public places came into effect in March 2017, the concept of "total ban on smoking under the ceiling" has been recognized by the overwhelming majority of the public. So, can the control of e-cigarettes be further clarified in terms of laws and regulations to bring e-cigarettes into the regulatory scope of smoke-free environment? From the public awareness to the supervision, it is necessary to work together to improve the supervision, so that e-cigarettes will not become the "blind area" of tobacco control.

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