Kolkata High Court is going to hear two petitions challenging the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Ordinance, 2019.
Plume Vapour and Woke Vapors have, in separate petitions, challenged the anti-vaping ordinance that was promulgated by President Kovind earlier this month.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Plume Vapour, commented about the blanket ban on e-cigarettes, “This raises several important questions of constitutional law and is mindless, arbitrary and excessive.”
The Ordinance gives powers to authorized officer to enter, search and seize without warrant. First time offenders under the Ordinance would be liable to a one-year imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Repeat offences will attract a three-year imprisonment or a penalty of Rs 5 lakh or both, according to the Ordinance.
Arguably, e-cigarettes are promoted as being less harmful than common cigarettes and are supposed to help in de-addiction. Contrarily, the youth are getting addicted to e-cigarettes as these products are also more stylish.
The total ban on production, import, export, distribution, advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes seeks to save the youth from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes on health, as it is supposedly reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions. If the Ordinance is not recalled, it could mean death sentence to expansion plans of big brands like Juul Labs Inc and Morris International in India.
Court has posted the next hearing for 30th September 2019.
— India Legal Bureau