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Seven years ago LegCo started to discuss the regulation of electronic cigarettes. Finally, public health advocates believe, it will next month pass a bill that outlaws the import, production, distribution, sale and promotion of new smoking products.

It will be a major step to reducing the city’s smoking rate, already one of the lowest in the world at 10.2 per cent. Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health, last week put the target at 7.8 per cent in 2025, with a long-term goal of creating a “smoke-free” Hong Kong.