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Amendment to Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act effective from March 22, 2023

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  • Last updated:Last updated:2023/09/28
  • Publish date:Publish date:2023/09/28
Amendment to Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act effective from March 22, 2023
With authorities started the crackdown on an expanded line of illegal products—the public and businesses are urged to review their practice in case of violation!

The Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") had not undergone a comprehensive revision for over 15 years. With the emergence of electronic cigarettes and new types of tobacco products, the existing regulatory framework had become insufficient to protect public health, especially among young people. To curb this lawlessness, the Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare (HPA) began amending the Act, which was passed by the Legislative Yuan on January 12, 2023, and promulgated by Presidential decree on February 15, 2023. The Act came into effect on March 22, 2023. We urge the public and businesses to refrain from violating the provisions of the new law.

Key amendments to the Act include:
A full ban on the manufacture, import, sell, supply, display, advertising, and use of all types of imitation tobacco product, including electronic cigarettes. In terms of designated tobacco products (including heated tobacco products), before their manufacturing or importation, businesses must apply for a health risk assessment review to the Ministry of Health and Welfare in accordance with Article 7 Paragraph 3 of the Act, and follow the specified procedures (effective from March 22, 2023). Essential components for the use of designated tobacco products must also be submitted for review. As the health risk assessment review procedures for designated tobacco products are implemented simultaneously with this Act, products not approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, including heated tobacco products, are prohibited as of March 22, 2023. The HPA will collaborate with local governments to strengthen inspections of the market and online platforms, imposing legal penalties on violators.

Other key amendments to the Act:
1. Expanding the no smoking area to include indoor and outdoor public places, such as universities, kindergartens, childcare centers, and home-based childcare facilities. Smoking is not allowed outside independent air-conditioned and partitioned smoking room at bars and nightclubs with areas.
2. Raising the legal smoking age to 20.
3. Increasing the warning label size on cigarette packs to 50%.
4. Prohibiting the use of additives that have been publicly announced as prohibited by the central governing authority.
5. Imposing heavier penalties.

Authorities start cracking down on an expanded line of illegal products

Given the proliferation of electronic cigarettes, novel and emerging tobacco products
 (including heated tobacco), and their essential components in physical stores and online, the lack of corresponding legal framework had made enforcement challenging. But from now on, the HPA can collaborate with local health authorities to crack down on those products and activities in accordance with the law. The targeted channels include physical stores, mobile vendors at night markets, home delivery or door-to-door sales, sales near school premises, online platforms, and online communities. Business operations and activities (such as the sale or display of illegal products) and advertising methods (such as signage at physical stores and information on online sales pages) are the main areas for inspections. Businesses and vendors are urged not to take chances, and online e-commerce platforms are encouraged to establish rigorous management and review mechanisms, to verify the personal information provided by their members and promptly remove non-compliant products in case of violating the law.

Furthermore, the public is reminded not to use, purchase, or recommend illegal products. If violations of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act are observed, individuals are encouraged to provide material evidence and report incidents to their local health authority or call the toll-free tobacco hazards consultation and reporting hotline at 0800-531531.