E-cigarettes Ban in India: India has the second highest population of smokers and it is a big market for alternative smoking device industry like the manufacturers of e-cigarettes, hookahs and vaping devices.
E-cigarettes Ban: The Modi government has announced complete ban on e-cigarettes. As per the directions of the Prime Minister’s Office, a Group of Ministers (GoM) recently examined the Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Wednesday, announced that the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are going to be banned.
The Health Ministry’s e-cigarette ordinance draft proposed a maximum jail-term of up to one year along with Rs. 1 lakh penalty against first time violators. The Narendra Modi government mentioned about this ban in its first 100 days agenda as well. It proposed banning alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, vape, e-nicotine and flavored hookahs, etc. In a press conference on Wednesday, Sitharaman said, “E-cigarettes were meant to be a way of weaning away from smoking cigarettes.”
But “In India, e-cigarettes are being seen as a cool style statement. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured yet in India. And they come in over 150 flavors,” she added. According to data from the US, where many high school and middle school students are taking to e-cigarettes, the vaping devices have become a sever health hazard.
What are E-cigarettes?
A non-licensed product in India, e-cigarettes are used as an alternative to cigarettes in which tobacco is not burned. E-cigarettes heat to vaporize liquid nicotine, which the user inhales. That is what makes it different it from a ‘normal’ cigarette which is burned and its smoke is inhaled. E-cigarettes were marketed as a tool to get rid of smoking addiction.
What triggered E-cigarettes ban?
It all started in the US where the Donald Trump administration’s move towards banning e-cigarettes and vaping created a huge debate. According to reports seven people died in the US from a mysterious lung illness caused by vaping. US FDA showed a shocking jump of 78 percent in high school teens using e-cigarettes. Reports also suggest that many cancer-causing substances were found in e-cigs and vaping devices and their level was potentially dangerous in mint and menthol flavored e-cigarette liquids and smokeless tobacco products. Researchers found that the level of Pulegone, a cancer-causing component, was 1,000 times higher in mint and menthol flavored e-cigarettes than in menthol cigarettes.
India has the second highest population of smokers and it is a big market for alternative smoking device industry like the manufacturers of e-cigarettes, hookahs and vaping devices. The Indian Council of Medical Research – ICMR also listed the dangers of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), e-cigarettes, e-sheesha, heat-not-burn devices, vape and e-nicotine flavored hookah, etc. The nicotine content of e-cigarettes and other such devices is dangerous for health and can cause cancer, DNA damage, pulmonary and other deadly disorders. Apart from these, nicotine also hampers brain development causing difficulties in learning and mood-swings.
In the press conference, Sitharaman said that several e-cigarettes related cases have come to light including 243 e-cigarette explosions of which 63 went off during use. 84 e-cigarette explosions took place during charging, 52 during transportation or storage and 44 involved spare batteries.