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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

E-cigarettes banned, announces Nirmala Sitharaman after cabinet meet

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

india Updated: Sep 18, 2019 16:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman briefs the media on Cabinet at PIB Conference Hall, National Media Centre in New Delhi on Wednesday 18 September 2019. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/HT)
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman briefs the media on Cabinet at PIB Conference Hall, National Media Centre in New Delhi on Wednesday 18 September 2019. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/HT)
         

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced that the Cabinet has approved the decision to ban e-cigarettes. The minister made the announcement at a press conference in Delhi after the Cabinet meet.

“The Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned,” said Sitharaman.

The decision comes after demands from several quarters to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), which includes e-cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine Flavoured Hookah, and other similar devices.

Sitharaman said the government would pass an ordinance immediately subject to President’s approval to give effect to the ban. The government would introduce a bill in Parliament in the winter session, she said.

Watch: Govt bans e-cigarettes citing health reasons, ordinance soon

 

Sitharaman said that currently, though no Indian company was manufacturing e-cigarettes, some 400 brands were already operating here offering the product in 150 flavours.

Citing a study in the US, she said there had been 900 per cent growth in e-cigarettes between 2011 and 2015-16.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was also present at the briefing, said it was a timely step and the proposal had come to the cabinet after due deliberation.

“This is a welcome step. Prevention is always better,” he said

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine,which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.

The violation of ban will invite an imprisonment of up to one year for first time offenders, while repeat offenders can get up to three years. The e-hookah too stands banned, said Sitharaman.

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

Those supporting e-cigarettes argue that they are less harmful than smoking tobacco while the government is of the view that they pose health risks similar to those caused by conventional cigarettes.

On Tuesday, New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, following several vaping-linked deaths that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 15:14 IST

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