India to Ban E-Cigarette
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to ban the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products. An ordinance to that effect would be passed by the Union Government soon.
Banning of E-Cigarette
- E-Cigarette also called as ENDS (Electronic nicotine delivery systems) has been banned citing health risk to people, especially youth.
- The decision of the cabinet was based on the recommendation of Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.
- As per the proposed ordinance, the first-time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs one lakh.
- For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both have been prescribed.
- Storage of electronic-cigarettes would also be punishable offence with imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
- Those holding existing stocks of e-cigarettes on the date of commencement of the ordinance will have to declare and deposit the stocks with the nearest police station.
The decision to ban E-cigarettes has been opposed by the e-cigarettes promoting trade bodies, users and other stakeholders. They have criticized to ban as a draconian step taken in haste to protect the conventional cigarette industry. They have also alleged that the government’s decision has deprived 1 crore smokers in India of safer options.