Shares in China’s e-cigarette firms drop
Shares in Chinese vaping firms fell on Thursday. The loss was owed to a state media’s report on minors purchasing e-cigarettes, which resulted in calls for a tougher crackdown of the products. The country prohibits their sales to minors.
Huabao International Holdings Ltd tallied an 18% crash, while China Boton Group Co Ltd shed 4%. Relx Technology Inc also traded 5% lower in New York following reports from Xinhua news agency about the issue.
The media conducted surprise visits to e-cigarette shops in the northern cities of Tianjin and Shenyang. Reporters discovered that signs on sales ban to minors were posted, but the law was not strictly enforced. Vendors admitted on disregarding proof of age, unless the customer was obviously very young.
The report came after Chinese authorities expressed the need to improve the protection of minors.
Fu Jia, director of Tianjin Lawyers Association’s professional committee for the protection of minors, said e-cigarettes pose a safety hazard, and their sales to minors should be eradicated.