Cabinet clears ordinance to impose ban on e-cigarettes

The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday proposed an ordinance to ban production, import, export, transport, sale, storage, distribution, even advertising of e-cigarettes in the country. E-Hookahs, and online sale and advertising of these products, have also been included in the ban, which has been prompted by a belief in government circles that young people who may otherwise have not taken up smoking are becoming users of these devices.

E-cigarettes, technically known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices (ENDS), are increasingly being seen by smokers as a harm reduction alternative to cigarettes, specially among the young, with at least a 900% increase in usage between 2011 and 2016 in the United States.

Apart from e-cigarettes, ENDS include heat-not-burn devices, which generate a flavourful nico otine-containing vapour, vapes, e-sheeshas and e-nicotine flavoured hookahs.

“We don’t agree that ENDS is a harm reduction device. Secondly, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) data shows there’s a decline in the number of smokers, with only about 10% of population smoking cigarettes in India. Actually the young population is being targeted as customers for ENDS,” said Preeti Sudan, Union health secretary. Read More

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