The Union Cabinet has approved a ban on e-cigarettes, citing the need to take early action to protect public health.
- The government will immediately pass an ordinance, subject to the approval of the President, and the matter will be taken up in the next Parliament session.
- Once the ban comes into force, any production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale), distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes shall be a cognisable offence punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or fine up to ₹1 lakh, or both for the first offence.
- For any subsequent offense, the punishment will be imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to ₹5 lakh.
- Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine up to ₹50,000 or both.
Reasons behind the ban
What is an e-Cigarette? ● E-cigarettes are the most common form of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). ● The E-cigarette does not use tobacco leaves but vaporize a solution using a battery which is inhaled by the user. ● The E-liquids usually contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, flavorings, additives, and differing amounts of contaminants. ● E-cigarettes do not contain all of the harmful chemicals associated with smoking tobacco cigarettes, such as carbon monoxide and tar. ● Manufacturers claim that the e-cigarette is a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes, which cause millions of deaths every year. ● Some e-cigarettes are designed to resemble regular cigarettes, while others look more like cigars, pipes, pens and even USB flash drives. ● Researchers have classified e-cigarettes as first, second or third-generation devices. ● A first-generation e-cigarette is disposable and resembles a cigarette in appearance. ● A second generation e-cigarette is rechargeable and larger than the first generation. ● A third-generation e-cigarette is refillable and do not resemble a combustible cigarette. They have very large and sometimes customizable batteries.
Reactions against the ban
- Once nicotine is used in the solution of an e-cigarette, the difference between it and a conventional cigarette ends.
- Although nicotine itself is not a carcinogen, it may function as a tumor promoter and can also lead to
- Envisioned as a tool to combat tobacco addiction, electronic cigarettes, and other vaping products have become a major problem and increase the risk of children adopting them.
- Indian Council of Medical Research in a white paper stated that the uses of ENDS, or e-cigarettes, have documented adverse effects which include DNA damage; carcinogenesis (initiation of cancer formation); cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity; respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders.
- It also impacts fetal development and pregnancy, according to ICMR, which had recommended a “complete prohibition” of these products.
- These products have neither been assessed for safety in the national population nor been approved under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
- As per figures submitted to Parliament this year, e-cigarettes and accessories valued at about $1,91,780 were imported to India between 2016 and 2019.
- Prior to this announcement, 16 states and one Union territory had already banned e-cigarettes. These include Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Odisha, and Nagaland.
Stand of other countries
- E-cigarettes promoting trade bodies, users and other stakeholders opposed the government's move to ban the "alternative" smoking device through the ordinance route, alleging it to be a "draconian" step taken in haste to protect the conventional cigarette industry.
- Association of Vapers India (AVI), an organization representing e-cigarette users, also alleged that it is a black day for the 11 crore smokers in India who have been deprived of safer options.
- US: Has the highest population of smokeless tobacco and vape-product users. The use of e-cigarettes, has resulted so far in seven confirmed deaths in the U.S. New York recently banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.
- UK: Sales of ENDS products like vapes are legal. Introduced regulations for e-cigarette firms in 2016.
- China: Houses a third of the world’s smokers. Announced in July 2019 that it plans to regulate e-cigarettes to strengthen the supervision of these products.
- France: Allows the sale of e-cigarettes as either medicines or consumer products, but those making health claims related to these products need marketing authorization under the standard drug licensing process.
- Germany: Classifies nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as tobacco-related products and regulates it under the country’s 2016 law on Implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive and Related Products.
- Japan: non-nicotine e-cigarettes currently not regulated, but nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are classified as medicinal products and regulated under Japan’s pharmaceutical affairs law.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-decides-to-ban-e-cigarettes/article29448257.ece https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-e-cigarettes-ban-in-india-nirmala-sitharaman-nicotine-tobacco-6007826/ Read More Articles: Eat Right India movement Smoking E-Cigarettes Is More Injurious To Health
- In view of the challenges involved in implementing tobacco control laws, rampant tobacco industry interference, a large proportion of vulnerable youth population, negligible support available for tobacco cessation, ban on ENDS is a plausible and cost-effective approach subject to effective implementation and monitoring.