Hong Kong-listed vaping stocks plunged in the afternoon session on Wednesday, following an official warning of e-cigarette-induced damage to health.
Shenzhen-based Smoore International, the world's largest vaping device manufacturer, saw its shares slump nearly 20 percent in the Hong Kong market near the end of the afternoon session, before finishing down 17.1 percent.
By comparison, the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.88 percent.
China Boton Group, an e-cigarette maker that is also based in Shenzhen, lost 17.94 percent in Hong Kong trading, while Hong Kong-based Huabao International Holdings shed 7.69 percent.
The rout was triggered by health woes after the National Health Commission on Wednesday unveiled a report on the health risks of smoking, jointly with the World Health Organization's County Office in China, which said that there's sufficient proof that e-cigarettes are unsafe and harmful to health.
The country's population of smokers has topped 300 million, with the smoking rate for those aged 15 and above standing at 26.6 percent and the percentage of male smokers hitting 50.5 percent, according to the report.
Cigarettes claim the lives of more than 1 million people in the country per year. The annual number is estimated to rise to 2 million by 2030 and then to 3 million by 2050, assuming the absence of effective actions.
The report also revealed the latest global research about the relationship between smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and four major chronic diseases - chronic respiratory diseases, malignant tumors, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
Nonetheless, Hong Kong-traded BYD Electronic still posted a massive gain in the final hour, soaring as much as 22.91 percent before ending up 11.73 percent, on reports that the company has finalized patenting its e-cigarette business, which is expected to begin mass production in June.
Its parent company BYD closed up 2.39 percent in the Hong Kong market on Wednesday, while edging down 0.2 percent in the Shenzhen market.