Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019

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News: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019.

Facts:

About E-cigarettes:

  • E-cigarettes are the most common form of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). These are battery- operated devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution, which a user then inhales.
  • Other examples: Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and e-cigars and other similar devices.

Concerns associated with E-cigarettes:

  • The solutions in E-cigarettes contain propylene glycol, nicotine etc pose significant health risks, including cancer.
  • E-cigarettes have adverse impact that is comparable to cigarette smoking- damage to cardiovascular system, impaired respiratory immune cell function and severe respiratory disease.
  • Concerns about addiction in teens and young adults as e-cigarettes are often advertised as less harmful than conventional cigarettes.

Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019

  • After the ban comes into force, any production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale), distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes will be a cognizable offence.
  • The offence will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or fine up to ₹1 lakh, or both for the first offence; and imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to ₹5 lakh for a subsequent offence.
  • Those found storing e-cigarettes will be punished with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
  • Those who have existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to declare and deposit them with the nearest police station on their own before the ordinance comes into effect
  • The sub-inspector has been designated as the authorised officer to take action under the ordinance.

Significance of the ban:

  • Will ensure effective and timely action against the trend of use of e-cigarettes especially among youth.
  • Will complement government’s efforts for tobacco control
  • Will help in reduction of tobacco use and reduction in associated economic and disease burden.

Additional Information:

  • In August 2018, the Indian health ministry had issued an advisory to all states and Union Territories (UTs) to stop the manufacture, sale and import of ENDS.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its white paper on Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), published on the eve of World No Tobacco Day (31st may), has said that ENDS adversely affects almost all the human body systems. It has recommended a complete ban on e-cigarettes and other ENDS.
  • According to WHO’s Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017 report, nearly 30 countries have banned ENDS. Examples include Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
  • In India, 16 states and 1 UT has had already banned manufacture, import and sale of ENDS.