Centre bans consumption, production, sale of e-cigarettes
Indian Government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to ban the consumption, production, manufacturing, import, export, distribute, transport, sale and advertisements of e-cigarettes. The first-time offenders can face a punishment from 1 to 3 years and a fine between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The ban covers hookah bars as well.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Cabinet gave its nod to the Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 keeping in mind the impact of the products on youth.
She further added that e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce an aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.
Expressing her concern she said, “E-cigarettes were promoted to help people shed their smoking habits but reports reveal that many people are not using it as weaning mechanism but are rather addicted to it.”
The decision to ban the product comes as a follow up of a 2018 advisory that the central government had sent to all state governments asking them to consider banning e-cigarettes. The product was already banned in about 15 states – Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Odisha and Nagaland.