The arrests came in a joint raid by the Department of Health and the police on Wednesday on a mobile retail outlet suspected of selling e-cigarettes.

The two, aged 28 and 31, were arrested for the illegal sale and possession of Part 1 poisons and illegal sale of alternative smoking products.

Officers seized a batch of suspected e-cigarettes from the shop, including 94 boxes of suspected nicotine-containing electronic cigarette cartridges and 74 smoking devices.

The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 prohibits the import, promotion, manufacture, sale and possession of alternative smoking products for commercial purposes. That includes posting or shipping such products. Any arriving travelers who are carrying e-cigarettes with them must declare them no matter how small the quantity.

Anyone who violates the ban face up to six months in prison and a maximum fine of HK$50,000.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (chapter 138) states that all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be legally sold in the market. Nicotine is a Part 1 poison.

The illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products or Part 1 poisons is a criminal offense and the maximum penalty for each offense is a fine of HK$100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

The government also called on smokers to quit smoking as early as possible for their own sake as well as that of others. They can call the Department of Health's Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline on 1833 183 - operated by registered nurses - for professional counseling services.