Indian Finance Minister Xitalaman announced on September 18 that India will completely ban the production, import, export, sales and advertising of e-cigarettes. The ban has been approved by the Cabinet and will soon be formally promulgated in the form of an "executive order."
Xitalaman announced the news at a press conference that day. The ban is not directly applicable to smoking, but it means Indian e-cigarettes users will not be able to legally purchase the product, it said. Violators of the ban may be punished with a fine of approximately $1,400 or imprisonment for one year, or both. Multiple violators may face up to three years 'imprisonment and a fine of nearly $7,000.
"These novel(e-cigarettes) products have a fascinating appearance and a variety of tastes, and their use has increased exponentially, especially in developed countries, especially among young people," the government said in a communique.
With more than 100 million adult smokers, India is a major market for the global tobacco industry. E-cigarettes are mainly composed of batteries, heated vaporization devices, and a pipe filled with smoke. Nicotine smoke can be atomized into vapor for the user to inhale. Some smokers use it as a substitute for traditional cigarettes. However, the World Health Organization has published reports that there is insufficient evidence that e-cigarettes can help quit smoking.
The United States Department of Health has repeatedly pointed out the health risks of e-cigarettes and is currently investigating more than 450 cases of severe lung disease related to the use of e-cigarettes. On August 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had received reports of 127 cases of seizures following the use of electronic cigarettes and was investigating whether electronic cigarettes were the direct cause. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on the 11th that its drug administration will introduce regulations in the coming weeks to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes in order to control the increasing trend of young people smoking e-cigarettes.
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