Bill to ban production, sale of e-cigarettes in Lok Sabha
A bill to ban production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products was introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday.
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, seeks to replace an ordinance issued recently.
The government had cited health risk to people, especially to youth and issued an ordinance to ban such products.
The Union home ministry had earlier written to to the states and Union Territories asking them to ensure enforcement of the prohibition on e-cigarettes.
“Prohibition of electronic cigarettes (production, import, export, sale, distribution, storage & advertisement) Ordinance, 2019, was promulgated on November 18 for banning production, sale, purchase, etc of electronic cigarettes in interest of public health,” the home ministry’s notification ordering the implementation of the ban said.
India on September 18, 2019, approved an ordinance to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and warned of an “epidemic” among young people.
The prohibition is imposed through an ordinance and will include jail terms of up to three years for offenders. The ban will impose a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh for first-time offenders. A repeat violation would attract a jail term of up to three years and a penalty of up to Rs 5 lakh.
The ban was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a news conference, where she showed various types of products to the media, including a Juul vaping device, which resembles a USB flash drive.
Advocates for e-cigarettes say vaping is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. But many tobacco-control activists say the devices could lead to nicotine addiction and push people towards consuming tobacco.