US tariffs on e-cigarettes may hurt American consumers

E-cigarettes have been targeted by the Trump administration’s second round of tariffs on Chinese imports, but few people know that the Chinese-made kind is the only market-viable option for tens of thousands of American distributors and sellers.

Hangsen, a company in Shenzhen, southern China’s Guangdong Province, produces raw materials for e-cigarettes. Each day the workshop produces nearly 1 million bottles of the so-called e-liquid, the vast majority of which is exported to countries such as US, UK, and Italy.

“The domestic market accounts for less than 6 percent of our business. The US market accounts for around 40 percent. Our products are very popular abroad.” said Yao Jide, the company’s chairman.

Conceived as a way for addicted smokers to wean themselves off “the habit,” e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular with young users across the world, especially in the US.

Yao said an e-cigarette is a complicated device that contains a mouthpiece, a battery, a microprocessor, a heating element, and e-liquid.

Currently, more than 90 percent of the world’s e-cigarettes are made in China. And nearly all of those products are produced in Shenzhen before getting shipped overseas because the city is one of the major economic hubs and manufacturing metropolises in China, home to big names including Huawei and Foxconn, according to Yao.



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