A law enforcement official issued a penalty charge notice, the first on the Chinese mainland, to a resident who was found vaping at a bus station close to Nanshan Science and Technology Park on Monday, according to the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
The resident surnamed Lian was fined 50 yuan (US$7), according to the new version of the city’s tobacco control regulation, which has been in effect since Oct. 1.
"I didn’t know vaping is banned," Lian replied when caught by the law enforcement officer.
The new regulation includes a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public places in addition to traditional cigarettes. Moreover, smoking is prohibited within five meters from the entrances and exits of public transport stations, outdoor platforms and waiting areas for public transport, as well as ticket-purchasing areas and waiting areas outside the entrances and exits of certain outdoor venues.
Bus stations are a key target in the latest round of the tobacco control campaign since the implementation of the amended regulation, said the report.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) report on the global tobacco epidemic in 2019, e-cigarettes are noxious to health because they contain not only nicotine but also other harmful substances.
Yin Xi, an officer from WHO in China, said that the decision to ban e-cigarettes suggests the Shenzhen government’s determination to protect residents from all kinds of tobacco harm.
Fang Jie, vice president of the City College of Zhejiang University, said that the first penalty ticket issued for e-cigarette smoking just after the implementation of the amended regulation shows “Shenzhen speed.” More importantly, it demonstrated Shenzhen’s determination to protect public health, the report said.