E-liquid distributors complain about Korean government’s anti-vaping recommendation

The Korean government’s recommendation to refrain from vaping has a weak legal basis.


A controversy is brewing on the legal basis of the government’s recommendation to refrain from using e-liquid. As the recommendation has weak binding legal power, it is possible that distributors and manufacturers of e-liquids will react and take administrative legal action against it.

The Ministry of Food and Pharmaceutical Safety is investigating the risks associated with electronic cigarettes. Minister Lee Eui-kyung was supposed to announce the results of the investigation in November, but no announcement has been made so far.

Anxiety is growing among vapers due to reports that a small amount of an element of vitamin E suspected of causing severe lung damage has been detected in electronic cigarettes. A Department of Food and Drug Safety analysis did not find tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an element of hemp that has sparked controversy in the United States, in all products. However, some products contained vitamin E acetate, flavors and solvents. Vitamin E acetate is a harmless liquid, but it can adhere to the lungs when inhaled as a gas, causing asthma.

Small and medium e-liquid distributors have complained that the damage to their business is sure to increase until a clear analysis is released. If they take legal action, the recommendation can be a bone of contention because it lacks a clear legal basis.

If the Food and Drug Safety Ministry fails to prove a correlation between e-liquids and suspected cases of lung disease in Korea, the government’s recommendations could face prosecution.

On the other hand, if the harmfulness of the e-liquid is proven, the e-tobacco companies can be held legally responsible. Although convenience stores began to voluntarily halt e-cigarette sales after the government twice recommended quitting e-cigarettes, Korean tobacco companies, including KT & G, have not taken any action. active measures.


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Aron M. Newman

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