China moves to ban online sale of e-cigarettes

China issues temporary ban on sale of electronic cigarettes over the internet, days after lawsuit claims Juul sold contaminated pods.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Electronic cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes

China has requested that online shopping companies "temporarily" close online stores which sell electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes), Engadget reported.

According to the notice, officials say the move aims to protect minors' "physical and mental health."

The measure will affect China's $5 billion industry, which exports over 85% of its products, Caixin noted.

In the past year, electronic cigarettes have caused the deaths of at least 37 Americans and at two Brits.

In September, Israel's Health Ministry announced that it would examine the possibility of banning or limiting the sale of e-cigarettes. Earlier that same month, US President Donald Trump promised to work to ban flavored e-cigarettes, due to concerns that they entice teens and lead to long-term cigarette addiction.

Meanwhile, a new lawsuit claims that Juul sent 1 million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods to market earlier this year, and did not recall them after learning about the issue in March, BuzzFeed News reported. The lawsuit against the company was filed by Siddharth Breja, the company's former senior vice president for global finance.

Breja also said he raised concerns over the fact that the company resold nearly expired products, but refused to add an expiration or "best by" date to its packages.

A Juul spokesperson said Breja had been fired since he "failed to demonstrate the leadership qualities needed in his role."

"The allegations concerning safety issues with Juul products are equally meritless, and we already investigated the underlying manufacturing issue and determined the product met all applicable specifications. The company will vigorously defend this lawsuit."