The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, September 18, banned e-cigarettes in India with immediate effect, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This means production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and any advertising related to e-cigarettes are now banned following the cabinet's approval.
While announcing the Narendra Modi-led BJP government's decision to put a blanket ban on e-cigarettes, Sitharaman said that the move will help to protect the population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.
The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes is expected to have a budgetary impact of Rs 2,028 crore. The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes is expected to have a budgetary impact of Rs 2,028 crore. Also, the punishment to be meted out for the first offence by a person would be a one-year imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Repeat offences could lead to a three-year imprisonment or a penalty of Rs 5 lakh or both, said Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Sitharaman also said, "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."
Stating that the government would pass an ordinance immediately subject to the President's approval, Sitharaman stated that the Centre would introduce a bill in Parliament in the winter session.
The decision comes after demands from several quarters to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), which includes e-cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine and ured Hookah.