The Government on Thursday issued an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes making the production, import, export, transport, sale or advertisements of such "alternative" smoking devices a cognizable offence attracting jail term and fine.
The government on Wednesday banned production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products, citing health risk to people, especially youth, and an ordinance will be brought in to make it an offence, entailing jail term up to three years as well as fine. The decision, taken by the Union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also hit the plans of foreign companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International (PM.N) to enter the Indian market.
"The Cabinet today gave approval to a decision to ban e-cigarettes which is also otherwise technically called the ENDS (Electronic nicotine delivery systems), which means production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and storage and advertisement related to e cigarettes are all banned," said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue.
What is an e-cigarette and Vape?
E-cigarette and Vape are electronic devices used for smoking. Instead of smoke from burning tobacco, an e-cigarette user inhales aerosol, commonly called vapour, produced from a combination of vape juice and atomiser (see below). Hundreds of varieties of vape juice (with and without nicotine) and e-cigarettes are there in the market, mostly imported from China. More sophisticated e-cigarettes might have features to control the vapour flow, heating, large liquid tanks and replaceable parts.
What if the ban is violated?
First time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both according to the ordinance.
Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both. According to an official statement, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes on the date of commencement of the ordinance will have to declare and deposit the stocks with the nearest police station.
As per the ordinance, any violation will constitute a cognizable offence, which means, a police officer can arrest without a warrant, in accordance with the First Schedule of the Constitution of India or under any other law enacted at the given point...
Who else has banned electronic cigarette?
New York was the first state in the USA to ban the sale of flavoured electronic cigarette, otherwise known as e-cigarette, products. The ban was first proposed in Michigan, but the law is yet to be enacted. San Francisco, the home of market leader Juul Labs, became the first American city to ban e-cigarettes in June, 2018.