Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam on Wednesday announced that the Cabinet has approved the decision to ban e-cigarettes. The minister made the announcement at a press conference in Delhi after the Cabinet meet.
“The Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned,” said Sitharaman.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine,which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.
The violation of ban will invite an imprisonment of up to one year for first time offenders, while repeat offenders can get up to three years. The e-hookah too stands banned, said Sitharaman.
Sitharaman said that the government will bring in an Ordinance and the matter will be taken to the Winter Session of Parliament.
The Prohibition of e-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019, was recently examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM) following directions from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Those supporting e-cigarettes argue that they are less harmful than smoking tobacco while the government is of the view that they pose health risks similar to those caused by conventional cigarettes.