The Parliament of India passed the “ Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Bill, 2019” by voice vote and with long discussion in both the houses (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha).
Earlier it was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. It replaced an Ordinance promulgated in September 2019 by the Ministry of Finance. The Bill seeks to prohibit the production, trade, storage, and advertisement of electronic cigarettes.
- The Bill defines electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as electronic devices that heat a substance, which may contain nicotine and other chemicals, to create vapour for inhalation. These e-cigarettes can also contain different flavours and include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat-not-burn products, e-hookahs, and other similar devices.
- The Bill prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India. Any person who contravenes this provision will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For any subsequent offence, the person will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
- Under the Bill, no person is allowed to use any place for the storage of any stock of e-cigarettes. If any person stores any stock of e-cigarettes, he will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.
- If an authorised officer believes that any provision of the Bill has been contravened, the officer can search any place where trade, production, storage or advertising of E-Cigarettes is being undertaken.
Consumer VOICE appreciated and welcomed the move of Government of India to ban E-Cigarettes in India through the passage of most awaited bill. The organisation thanked the Health Ministry, for taking strong step towards for banning of e-cigarettes (ENDS) to curb these new forms of tobacco addiction in larger national interest. Consumer VOICE is also hoping that the ministry will further ensure the implementation by the concerned authorities.
Also read: What are e-cigarettes and hazards of e-cigarettes
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