Legislators approve first draft of e-cigarette bill, ask for consumption to also be banned

The Legislative Assembly (AL) today (Thursday) approved the first draft of an amendment to the tobacco prevention and control law that prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale, import, export and transport of electronic cigarettes in and out of the SAR.

The law provides for penalties of MOP4,000 (US$494) for infractions, and in the case of entities, a fine of between MOP20,000 and MOP200,000 may be imposed.

During the debate, the deputies of theAL argued that the Government should go further, also advancing the ban on the consumption of electronic cigarettes.

Others advocated strengthening anti-smoking awareness and expressed concern about the risk that the new legislation could increase the smuggling of e-cigarettes.

Legislative changes will now be further discussed at the standing committee level.

The Government justified the changes to the law with “the strong evidence that this type of tobacco product is not only harmful to health, but its use can also jeopardize people’s safety”, noting that the consumption of electronic cigarettes has increased, especially among young people.