E-Cigarettes See Price Increase in China Amid Tougher Regulation

Under strict new regulation, the prices of electronic cigarettes in China have increased. Recently, Beijing Business Today journalists found that many brands of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers with fruit flavors have seen prices increase by up to 20-30 yuan ($3.14-$4.72).

The electronic cigarette industry previously flourished in China, especially starting from the first half of 2018, then developing exponentially in 2019. It was initially promoted as beneficial to helping people quit smoking, less harmful to the body, and good for health. But the products have later changed towards appeals such as fashion, novelty and flavors.

In 2019, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV explicitly criticized e-cigarettes because some of them contain excessive nicotine and release formaldehyde during use. The National Health Commission issued a report stating that evidence shows e-cigarettes are unsafe and could be harmful to health.

On March 11, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued the “Regulations on Electronic Cigarettes,” effective on May 1, 2022. Article 26 prohibits the sale of all e-cigarettes with flavors other than tobacco and those that allow the addition of atomized substances. This means that electronic cigarettes with flavors such as fruit can no longer be sold from May 1, 2022.

SEE ALSO: China Tightens Controls on E-Cigarettes

Following the release of this document, several e-cigarette brands responded by actively implementing regulatory requirements and announced their discontinuing of fruit and other flavored products in China. As a result, the market is out of stock of electronic cigarettes in various flavors, and it is difficult to buy even at a higher price.

In this case, some brands chose to turn a blind eye to the increased retail prices. According to an industry source, some stores reported to the enterprise for unfair competition brought about by the price increase, but the enterprises said the price increase is a normal practice due to store rental costs and other reasons, and the penalty will be imposed only if the price increase is too high and unreasonable.