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Govt. approves ordinance to ban e-cigarettes

By EMN Updated: Sep 19, 2019 1:00 am

Violators can be jailed up to 3 years and fined INR 5 lakh or both

Eastern Mirror Desk

Dimapur, Sep. 18: In a major health and wellness initiative, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance to ban production, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes in the country. The restriction applies to online sale and advertisement.

An update from PIB informed that the Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019 was approved during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Under the ordinance, violating the provisions shall be a cognizable offence punishable with an imprisonment of up to one year or fine up to INR 1 lakh or both for the first offence; and imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to INR 5 lakh for a subsequent offence. Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to six months or fine up to INR 50,000 or both.

The government has directed the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes to suomoto declare and deposit it with the nearest police station. For enforcement of the ordinance, sub-inspector of police has been designated as the authorised officer to take action. The Central or state governments can also designate officers to enforce the provisions.

“Electronic-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes. These include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices,” read the update.

It went on to say that the decision to prohibit e-cigarettes considering the highly addictive nature of nicotine and ill-effects, and to help protect the people, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after the cabinet meeting that vaping or e-cigarettes appear cool but a lot of health concerns had been raised against them. “The decision has been taken keeping in mind health of the youth,” she said citing recommendations of premier medical institutes.

The minister said reports stated that young students in the US were becoming its victim. Vaping has emerged as a major concern internationally with nearly 30 countries banning it.

The ordinance will be converted into a bill in the next session of Parliament and come into force once approved by the President.

By EMN Updated: Sep 19, 2019 1:00:05 am