NEW DELHI: E-cigarettes will be banned in India with immediate effect, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Wednesday. Envisioned as a tool to combat tobacco addiction, electronic cigarettes and other vaping products have become a major problem and increase the risk of children adopting them, she said.
"It means the production, manufacturing, import or export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned," Ms Sitharaman said.
The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019, was recently examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM) following directions from the Prime Minister's Office.
In the draft ordinance, the Health Ministry has proposed a maximum imprisonment of up to one year along with a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh against first time violators.
Banning alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn smoking devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookahs was among the key priorities of the first 100 days agenda of the Narendra Modi government in its second term.