E-cigarette web store owner faces prosecution

An online store owner was prosecuted for illegal operation after selling electronic cigarette cartridges via Taobao and WeChat with an amount of 130,000 yuan (US$19,078) involved.

The owner of online store who sold electronic cigarette cartridges via Taobao and WeChat has been charged with operating an illegal business, prosecutors in Baoshan District said yesterday.

E-cigarettes came under the supervision of tobacco authorities in June 2017, and private sales of e-cigarettes and related products are against the law.

According to the Baoshan District People’s Procuratorate, the man, surnamed Lu, sold e-cigarette accessories and e-liquid on Taobao to a group of regular customers. He also allegedly began selling e-cigarette cartridges on WeChat in November of last year.

Police and law enforcement officers from the local tobacco authority raided Lu’s residence, as well as courier offices used by Lu, on March 8. They were said to have seized 226 cartons of e-cigarette cartridges. After an investigation, Lu was accused of selling over 60,000 yuan (US$8,835) worth of cartridges via Taobao and WeChat.

Prosecutors say Lu’s sale of tobacco products without permission from authorities violated China’s criminal law.

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