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Filipino found with vape pads charged with possessing ‘poison’

20 June 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Vapes and vape pads used to be sold openly online and in shops until the ban 

A young Filipino waiter was stumped when told he faced a serious charge of possessing poison after he was stopped in Wanchai in the wee hours in April this year and his bag was searched.

R. A., 27, was alleged to have in his possession a vape and three vaping pads, each of which contained between 0.74 and 1.52 grams of liquid nicotine, a substance listed as part 1 poison under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138).


Under this law, each violation could result in the defendant being sentenced to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years’ imprisonment.

In court on Jun 13, his Duty Lawyer asked the court to adjourn the case to Aug 3 for further legal advice before a plea is taken.

His bail of $500 was extended on the same terms until then.


Ironically, R.A. was apprehended on Apr 22 this year, eight days before the government made smoking an alternative smoking product (ASP) - including vape - in no-smoking areas, illegal.

Had he been found vaping outside of designated smoking areas from Apr 30, Apolonio would have just been issued with a fixed penalty ticket of $1,500 – much lower than if he was found in possession of the vape pads containing liquid nicotine in his bag.

What the ordinance punishes more severely is the importation, promotion, manufacture, sale and possession for commercial purposes of ASPs, for which the prescribed maximum penalty is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

The ban covers electronic smoking products, heated tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, and their accessories.

Press for details

As it turned out, possessing liquid nicotine for vaping carried with it a heftier penalty.

Meanwhile, another Filipino resident who was also stopped and searched in Wan Chai earlier this year was bound over for $300 this morning for possessing 0.39 grams of cannabis in herbal form.

Prosecution told Principal Magistrate Ada Yim that it would not oppose a bind-over order sought by the defense.


Yim told defendant J.P. that he was not going to be penalized unless he commits another crime in the next 12 months, in which case, he will not only be made to pay the bind-over fee, but will also get a criminal conviction.

J.P. was stopped by police at about 1am on Spring Garden Lane in Wanchai on Jan 19, 2022, while he was supposedly acting suspiciously.

A number of items were seized on him, but only the herbal cannabis was found to contain a prohibited substance.


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