E-cigarettes sale stays out of control
VietNamNet Bridge – Ad pieces about e-cigarettes have been flooding websites, while e-cigarettes have been available everywhere. Meanwhile, state management agencies still cannot put the products under their control.
After several years of trying e-cigarettes, urban dwellers have got familiar to the new product, which they believe can help them give up smoking.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), it is the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), which takes the responsibility of granting ad licenses to enterprises. Meanwhile, MOIT only takes care for the sale promotion and advertisement activities of the licensed enterprises.
If discovering violations, MOIT’s Trade Promotion Agency would join forces with the Market Management Agency and MCST to punish the violators in accordance with the current laws.
However, e-cigarette traders have a lot of tricks to play to deceive the management agencies.
When reporters came to an e-cigarette shop in Cau Giay district advertised on Internet, they were so surprised when seeing it was a children’s toy shop. Only when they asked about e-cigarettes, did the shop owner show the products.
As the reporters could not find the shop advertised as selling e-cigarette imports from the US, they called the mobile phone number shown on the website and realized that the shop has relocated to another place.
“If you really want e-cigarettes, I will bring sample products for your choice,” the man, who answered the phone, said.
He affirmed that his products are sourced from the US, priced at VND1.1 million (Ego – F1) or VND1.3 million (Ego – CE9).
When the reporters said they wanted to see the products with their eyes and came to the house at the address given by the man, they realized that it was a normal house in a residential quarter, not a shop with signboard.
A signboard which showed it was the office of D-Link Company was seen hung over at the entrance door of a shop on Dai Co Viet Street in Hai Ba Trung. It has been known to people as a shop specializing Canadian products.
A salesman here said since the State has not allowed to trade e-cigarette, the company can only show its address on some websites, while it dare not make official introductions about the products.
The salesman said all the products available at the company are the authentic Canadian products, but they are imported from Hong Kong.
The prices of the products are between VND1 million and VND1.9 million. When asked about the price differences, the salesman said the quality of the products is nearly the same, but the more expensive products can show the situation of battery and the number of puffs on their cigarettes.
The essential oil here was offered at VND120,000, which was also a Canadian product. However, there was no evidence to prove this was a product from Canada. Except the label with “made in Canada,” there were no bar codes or sub-label as required on the imports to Vietnam.
The owner of an e-cigarette in Cau Giay district said the US, Canada and the UK all have joined forces with China to make products. As the devices are made and assembled in China, the products have been going directly to Vietnam.
Vu Vinh Phu, Chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, confirmed that supermarkets still have not been allowed to sell this kind of products. He said the state needs to put strict control over the product, which has effects on people’s health.