The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill that bans usage of E-cigarettes in the country. After it takes effect, manufacture, import or sale of E-cigarettes in India will be a crime. The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, will replace an ordinance to this effect which was already passed in September earlier this year.
The bill found all-round support in the House and most MPs were of the opinion that tobacco-based cigarettes should also be similarily banned.
On September 18, the government had taken the ordinance route to ban e-cigarettes with a punishment of one-year imprisonment and a fine one lakh rupee for first-time offenders. The decision was taken to protect the people, , especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes were promoted as a way to get people out of their smoking habits but reports have shown that many people are not using it as weaning mechanism but are addicted to it,” Finance Minister Niramla Sitharaman had then said.
Today, in the Lok Sabha, the MPs said that international data reflected a rising trend of young children taking to e-cigarettes and it is important to ban the product to protect the younger generations. The US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) is currently investigating reported lung injuries and their relation to vaping using e-cigarettes. It has issued multiple warnings encouraging discontinuation of e-cigarette use in the US.
Quoting a media report, a member of Parliament stated that an estimated $1.9 lakh worth e-cigarettes had been imported to India. 30 countries across the world have banned e-cigarettes and 98 countries have tried to regulate it’s use one or the other way.
— India Legal Bureau