In the annual 315 evening gala, a tv show that celebrates consumer rights day, companies that range from the food industry to the tech sector are all facing collective examination. Those that are revealed as harmful to consumers will be exposed to the public and go through a thorough investigation.
One product that received a considerable amount of attention for reaching the top of the list was e-cigarettes. The product is designed to overcome a tobacco addiction and is becoming a trend among Chinese young consumers.
According to studies by Dartmouth College, in 2015, 2070 smokers quit smoking with the assistance of e-cigarettes. However, 168,000 non-smokers start smoking after they try e-cigarettes for the first time.
According to CCTV, e-cigarettes contain glycerin as well as nicotine. When burnt or atomized, they produce a lot of harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, which does great harm to smokers and passive smokers. Long-term use of electronic cigarettes will also induce strong dependence and addiction of nicotine.
Apart from addiction, e-cigarettes are also reported to be a producer of indoor air pollution (PM 2.5). An article by World Health Organization shows that the second-hand smoke from the e-cigarettes contain pollutants and toxic substances, rather than just water vapor as marketed by many manufacturers.
Interestingly, in China, e-cigarettes have been classified as an electronic device rather than an regulated medical product. Tech firms are flooding into the market of e-cigarettes as it is highly lucrative with a low access threshold. In the final launch event of Smartisan in January, Luo officially announced his entry into this money-making industry, following the steps of Smartisan’s previous No.1 employee of Zhu Xiaomu, who started the brand FLOW. The move is said to be a grasp at a straw considering the company’s previous failures.
There are currently 600 e-cigarette manufacturers in China. It only costs around 5 million yuan to set up a brand with around 60 percent of margin rate on average.
Unfortunately, the exposure of the dangers of the e-cigarette industry seems to only have led to temporary bans. In the evening of Mar. 15, a few hours after the 315 evening gala, all e-cigarette related products had been banned on e-commerce platform JD.com, however the ban is now lifted. Products on Taobao weren’t influenced at all.
Featured photo credit to Pixabay