Published: Wed, September 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

E-cigarettes will be banned, users face strict fines, jail: Nirmala Sitharaman

E-cigarettes will be banned, users face strict fines, jail: Nirmala Sitharaman

The Cabinet also banned production, export, import and distribution of e-cigarettes.

President Donald Trump's administration announced last week that it would soon ban flavoured e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users.

However, research into the long-term use of e-cigarettes is fairly limited as they have only been on the market since 2003.

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ordinance will be taken up in the next Parliament session to make it a law.

Group of Ministers (GoM) examined the Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 after receiving instructions from the Prime Minister's Office.

Their response came after the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance making the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, storage, distribution or advertisements of electronic cigarettes a cognizable offence, amid a raging debate over claims of harm reduction aspects of such products. "Still, we would demand that the government overturn its decision and think with a larger perspective of regulating e-cigarettes", he added.

E-cigarettes, or vapes as they are more commonly known, have been a growing fad among many smokers and non-smokers, especially young millennials.

"If e-cigarettes are allowed in India, it will have a devastating effect on the tobacco farmers in India".

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Europe has strong regulation for e-cigarettes.

Proponents of vaping say it helps people stop smoking and that banning it would encourage ex-smokers to pick up the habit again.

The ban order will impose a jail term of up to one year and a fine of 100,000 rupees ($1,863 Cdn) for first-time offenders.

But the clamour to ban e-cigarettes gained traction in India, with USFDA assuming oversight over e-cigarettes by classifying them as drug delivery devices and applying the same regulations as tobacco products.

AVI said it will explore legal options to challenge the ordinance. "E-hookahs are also included in this ban". This has deprived people of their freedom of choice.

Juul faces about 30 lawsuits, with more expected, alleging it illegally marketed products to children, failed to issue warnings to consumers about their dangers and defectively designed products.

It is not clear if the order will also prohibit the use of vaping equipment. India's government on Wednesday made a decision to ban e-cigarettes, expressing concern at the alarming rate at which vaping is becoming popular among the country's youth and causing breathing illnesses.

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