Cabinet bans e-cigarettes which are 'harmful' and a 'style statement'
- Indian Finance Minister,
Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced a ban on e-cigarettes in India.
- She said e-cigarettes are being used as a 'style statement' rather than a tool to quit smoking.
- The ban is subject to approval from the Indian parliament.
Indian Finance Minister and cabinet member, Nirmala Sitharam, announced a total ban on every aspect of e-cigarettes in the country.
"Production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisements related to e-cigarettes are all banned in India. It is banned in all these nine forms," stated Sitharam during the cabinet briefing.
She said that the decision is being taken in lieu of the seven deaths, which occurred in the US over the past week, directly linked to the use of e-cigarettes.
#UnionCabinet approves the promulgation of the prohibition of E-Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019. The decision to prohib… https://t.co/DF4OUMqGGa— PIB India (@PIB_India) 1568800703000
"The cabinet, rightly, thought it's time to immediately take a decision so that the health of our youth and citizens is not risked," said Sitharam.
E-cigarettes are a 'style statement'
A large number of e-cigarette models are available in the market today. However, none of them are produced in India. The government believes that are currently over 400 brands of e-cigarettes in the country available in over 150 flavours.
The varieties on offer tend to make people try them due to the 'cool' factor, rather than the devices being used for their original purpose, which is to help people quit smoking.
"In India, ground reports say that e-cigs are being used as a 'style statement'," said Sitharaman.
"Reports say many people are not using it to quit smoking but actually smoking cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes, if they're already smokers. Some are getting into the habit because it seems cool," she explained.
E-cigarettes were banned as they are not only harmful to the user and those around them. The fact that're odourless makes even more dangerous, according to Sitharaman.
"The smoke exhaled by a user of e-cigarettes, contains a high level of residual nicotine, which for people around standing as passive smokers — it will affect them too," she said.
While the cabinet approved the ban, it is subject to approval from the government. The ordinance advises the government to analyse the impact of e-cigarettes on people and their health.
The cabinet will take the matter forward during the next session of parliament.