E-cigarettes ban in India and the Prohibition of E-Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019

Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister on Wednesday, has announced the ban on E-cigarettes in India immediately. As a measure taken to minimize the use of tobacco and hence tobacco addiction, the e-cigarettes and various other vaping products are becoming the obstacle in the way and additionally it is increasing the number of children who are engaged in smoking, and that is a big risk as per her.

She also said that the manufacturing, production, import/export, distribution/sale, transport, storage, and advertisements that promote e-cigarettes are no longer available and are completely banned. Adding to the statement, she also announced that an ordinance for the same has been cleared by the Union Cabinet and is sent to the President, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind.

As per Ms. Sitharaman, the electronic cigarettes are now used for style, and it should be stopped at the earliest before it gets spread among the people. There are many electronic cigarette companies who are charged for attracting the teenagers using nicotine. According to a report, the number of e-cigarette users is increasing as it looks attractive. It is found that around 400 e-cigarette brands are available and out of them not even a single brand is manufactured in India. The e-cigarettes flavor count is approx 150. The Health Ministry has taken this action to avoid the usage of e-cigarettes, and as per them if it is not done, the use will spread like an epidemic among teenagers and children.

Under the directions from the PM Office, the Prohibition of E-Cigarettes Ordinance was analysed by a Group of Ministers (abbr. GoM). As per the terms of ordinance, the Health Ministry has assigned a 1-year jail and in addition to it a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh will be imposed to those who violate the rule for the first time. The punishment may raise up to 3-years or a sum of Rs. 5 lakh fine for violations done more than one time. The ordinance needs approval by parliament.

The ban on e-cigarettes and other alternatives to it like hookahs etc. was the first preference of the Narendra Modi govt. and this step has been taken after the US President, Donald Trump has imposed a ban on e-cigarettes coming in different flavors.

According to a survey report, in India, 9 lakhs or more people die every year because of tobacco usage. India stands at second place in the list of adult smokers after China, count reaching the number of 10 crores.

Rohit Srivastava
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