Growing medical evidence shows vaping may be just as harmful to health as traditional smoking. China’s regulators are right to seek greater restrictions on the market, which has hitherto escaped the same scrutiny as conventional cigarette makers. Predictably, the share price of RLX Technology, a leading Chinese brand in the manufacturing and marketing of e-vapour products, has taken a big hit. Since its successful New York stock market debut in January, its high-profile founder Wang Ying, who goes by her English name Kate, has been giving Yang Huiyan a run for her money for the title of “China’s richest woman”. RLX may be following in the footsteps of JUUL, the once-stellar American vaping specialist in which Altria, the maker of the Marlboro brand, is a majority shareholder. It has been banned from selling flavoured products and is subject to sales restrictions in various developed countries. China’s largest e-cigarette brand seeks to smoke out effects of vaping China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology plans to regulate such products similarly to conventional cigarettes and is seeking public input on the draft regulations until the end of next month. There is indeed an urgency to impose tougher regulations as China has the world’s largest number of smokers. Many may be tempted to switch to vaping, thinking it’s less harmful and also because it’s fashionable, especially for youngsters. Smoking has declined drastically in most developed countries. However, China and Russia are expected to continue to have significant numbers of smokers even by the middle of this century. Vaping affects how body reacts to flu viruses like Covid-19 The World Health Organization has contradicted claims made by the vaping industry, having warned that e-cigarettes are bad for users and bystanders exposed to fumes. Fetuses and teenagers’ developing brains may be harmed as well. Given China’s time-tested ability to carry out large-scale social engineering, reversing the smoking and vaping trends is more than possible. Reducing their enormous costs to public health would surely make it worthwhile for the Chinese state to commit to such efforts. It has already banned the online sale of e-cigarette products to prevent children from buying them. Tougher measures are clearly being planned. They can’t come too soon.