Union Government approves ordinance to ban e-cigarettes

Updated: Sep 19, 2019, 09:19 IST | Agencies

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue, said the Cabinet decided to ban e-cigarettes and similar products as they pose a health risk to people, especially the youth

FM Nirmala Sitharaman during the press conference announcing the ban. Pic/PTI
FM Nirmala Sitharaman during the press conference announcing the ban. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance for banning the production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and it proposes a jail term for those violating the provisions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. First-time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of R1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of R5 lakh, or both have been prescribed.

Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue, said the Cabinet decided to ban e-cigarettes and similar products as they pose a health risk to people, especially the youth.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said a debate on whether e-cigarettes and similar products are more harmful than tobacco cigarettes was of little help. "Why are we debating whether it is more or less harmful...it is a good move to ban it," she told reporters at the cabinet briefing here.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said it is a preventive step and it is always better to prevent health risks at a later stage of life. The ordinance will come into force once approved by the President. It will be converted into a bill in the next session of Parliament. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is out of the country.

Rs 1 lakh
Fine for first-time violators

Rs 5 lakh
Fine for subsequent offences

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