Cabinet approves promulgation of Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance 2019

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Promulgation of Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019. The decision is being seen as a major health and wellness initiative for the country.

Key Highlights

Upon promulgation of Ordinance-

Any manufacturing, production, import, export, transport, distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement), sale (including online sale) of e-cigarettes shall be a cognizable offence punishable.

Committing the offence might lead to an imprisonment of up to 1 year or fine up to Rs.1 lakh or both for 1st offence and imprisonment of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs.5 lakh for a subsequent offence. Storing of e-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs.50,000 or both.

On the date of commencement of Ordinance, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to suomoto declare as well as deposit these stocks with nearest police station.

Under the Ordinance, Sub-Inspector of Police has been designated as Authorized Officer to take action. However, Central or State Governments may also designate any other equivalent officer(s) as Authorized Officer for enforcement of provisions of Ordinance.

What are Electronic-cigarettes?

E-Cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol (mist) (commonly called as vapor) by heating a solution containing nicotine. This nicotine is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes. E-Cigarettes include all forms of Heat Not Burn Products (HNBP), Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), e-Hookah and other similar devices.

These novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavours to attract their potential customers especially youth and children. Thereby, their use has increased exponentially especially among youth and children and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries as well.

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