On December 2, 2021, China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued the draft rules governing e-cigarettes while the regulator has just released the exposure draft of national standards of e-cigarettes on November 30, 2021. Previously, China announced to brought e-cigarettes under tobacco monopoly law on November 26, hence the legal status of e-cigarettes.
The recent regulation updates have eliminated the uncertainties about the future of Chinese vaping industry, paving the way for the industry’s sustainable development.
According to iiMedia Research Group, the size of Chinese’ e-cigarette market has grown from RMB 550 million (USD 86 million) in 2013 to RMB 8.38 billion (UDS 1.31 billion) in 2020, witnessing an eight-year compound annual growth rate of 72.5%.
World Health Organization estimates that China has over 300 million smokers, nearly one-third of the world’s total. More than half of adult Chinese men are current tobacco smokers. By contrast, the e-cigarette penetration rate among Chinese smokers is less than 1%, indicating the massive development potential of Chinese e-cigarette market.
The legal recognition sends a positive signal that vaping could continue to serve as a harm reduction tool to help over 300 million Chinese smokers, significantly improving the country’s public health.
Moreover, the latest draft rules require vaping manufacturers to obtain a vaping production license, setting a high bar for vaping manufacturing in term of fund, facility, equipment and technology. Only the qualified manufacturers could be engaged in the production of e-cigarettes.
Released on November 30, the exposure draft of national standards of e-cigarettes covers a wide range of requirements, involving devices, materials, nicotine and additives. More importantly, the exposure draft requires all vaping devices to incorporate designs preventing children from misusing for the first time.
According to the exposure draft, the forthcoming national standards set specific quality requirements for vaping products, demanding manufacturers to improve product safety. It is expected that only the responsible industry players with quality assurance can comply with the standards. In the long run, the standards will foster sustainable development of the industry and provide consumers with more reliable products.
In terms of market landscape, it will eventually accelerate the market concentration and benefit market leaders with comprehensive safety management. Taking SMOORE for example, its safety standards have covered all PMTA tests and 134 in-house tests. It is the only company in China that has the capabilities of PMTA non-clinical testing and PMTA health risk assessment.
In a global context, public health regulators always tend to trust and approve products made by market leaders with technological edge for reliability backed by scientific evidence. For instance, in the US, British America Tobacco and Altria are the only two companies whose products have been granted premarket tobacco application (PMTA) approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration also requires all e-cigarettes sold in China to be registered and vaping companies to submit scientific evidence on product safety.
However, the new draft rules have little impact on exported e-cigarettes, as long as they comply with the laws, regulations and standards of destination countries. Therefore, it is relatively favorable to the vaping companies whose overseas markets account for the majority of revenue.
As the vaping manufacturing capital of the world, Shenzhen accounts for around 90% of the global vaping market share. The national mandatory standards and the draft rules are going to significantly change the vaping manufacturing in Shenzhen. Local manufacturers will transform from cost-oriented to technology-oriented. SMOORE, the world’s largest vaping manufacturer, is also ready to launch the next generation of FEELM atomization technology in December.
SMOORE is a global leader in offering vaping technology solutions, including manufacturing vaping devices, and vaping components, with advanced R&D technology, strong manufacturing capacity, wide-spectrum product portfolio and diverse customer base. The Company is the world’s largest vaping device manufacturer in terms of revenue, accounting for 18.9% of the total global market share.
FEELM is a high-end atomization technology brand belonging to SMOORE. Focusing on the research of cutting-edge atomization technology, FEELM also specializes in the development and manufacturing of high quality atomization devices driven by FEELM ceramic coil. “FEELM inside” symbol is on the closed system pods of a number of global leading tobacco companies and vaping companies around the world. The accumulated sales volume of FEELM has surpassed 3 billion pieces per year.