There are no national regulations governing the use of electronic cigarettes in China, though increasing numbers of smokers are turning to these devices, according to a Xinhua News Agency story quoting a China Daily report.

The Beijing Tobacco Control Association has reportedly received a growing number of reports and complaints about e-cigarettes being used in public places.

But existing control regulations in the capital city cover only the use in public places of traditional, combustible tobacco products. So while law enforcement officers can impose fines on those who smoke combustible cigarettes in public places, they are powerless to act against those who use e-cigarettes.

Yang Jie, a researcher at the Tobacco Control Office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted as saying that e-cigarettes were not considered to be either drugs or electronic products, which created a dilemma in respect of effective supervision.

The China Daily report quoted a World Health Organization official in China as saying there was a risk of unintended health consequences from exposure to electronic nicotine delivery systems, due to the high nicotine concentration in the e-liquids of some of them.

And it reported Zhang Jianshu, president of the Association, as saying that his Association believed that many e-cigarettes were harmful to smokers and others, and that it would promote the inclusion of such devices in tobacco control law enforcement.

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