The government of Taiwan has been consulting on amendment its Tobacco Hazards Prevention and Control Act. Article 14 of the amendment bill bans the manufacture, import, sale, and display of e-cigarettes (unless authorised as a pharmaceutical product). See newspaper coverage. The original Taiwan Chinese language bill is available online and a vendor has produced a summary in English.
See my full response here (PDF) and the summary below
Obviously, I strongly advise against this measure. E-cigarettes present an important strategy to reduce the harm caused by smoking and offer a way to achieve rapid reductions in smoking through market-based means. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that e-cigarettes add to harms associated with smoking.
Update: predictably on 4 May 2016, the judgement was announced and Totally Wicked’s case rejected in full. See judgement in case C‑477/14. No appeal is possible. The basic problem is that the law depends on the science, bad science makes bad law, and the Commission and members states drew on bad science to defend this completely counterproductive law. The court did add any value or interrogate the science. The court has defended the status quo and the cigarette trade and shaped the e-cigarette market for the convenience of the tobacco companies. My full account of the case and its history is here. End of update.
On 23rd December, the Totally Wicked case against the EU tobacco products directive treatment of e-cigarettes suffered a setback at the European Court. The Advocate General, Dr Julianne Kokott issued her opinion on the case – this was hostile to the case and deeply disappointing. It confirmed my fear that good legal judgements could only be made with a sound grasp of the science, ethical issues and commerce of the products facing disproportionate regulation. I think that was lacking in Dr Kokott’s opinion. I don’t think a line-by-line critique is worthwhile, but I do want to draw out what I consider are major flaws in her reasoning. This post covers: