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India bans production, sale of e-cigarettes, cites health hazards; ordinance soon

/ 02:15 PM September 19, 2019

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Photo: IANS via The Statesman/Asia News Network

NEW DELHI — The Union Government of India on Wednesday banned production and sale of e-cigarettes stating that the habit has affected youth the most.

Making the announcement at a press conference, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “The Union Cabinet has given the approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned.”

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Sitharaman cited health reasons behind the banning of e-cigarettes. She said the decision was taken so that the Government could take early action with regards to the health of people”.

E-cigarettes or “vaping” cigarettes are often marketed as a harmless product to help quit smoking. It does not burn tobacco but heats the liquid chemicals into a vapor or steam that a person inhales. This is the reason it is also called vaping. They are considered harmful to health.

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The Health Ministry had earlier proposed to make production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution or advertisements of e-cigarettes a cognizable offence. Besides fines, the offense could land one in jail for up to three years. The draft ordinance also makes storage of e-cigarettes punishable with jail term up to 6 months and a fine or both.

The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019, was recently examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM) following directions from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Following the announcement, shares of cigarette companies have soared.

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TAGS: Asia, e-cigarettes, Health, India, Smoking, vaping
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