New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Wednesday that the Union Cabinet had passed an ordinance to ban production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said storing e-cigarettes and similar devices could warrant a punishment of upto six months, along with fines upto Rs 50,000.
Following Govt ban, storage of e-cigarettes & the like devices shall be punishable with an imprisonment of upto 6 months or fine upto Rs 50,000 or both
This will protect people from these gateway products & also cut tobacco consumption#SwasthBharat @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/0YcGafuKMo
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) September 18, 2019
The ministers said the decision was a preventive step to avert health risks related to the cigarettes. This announcement comes a day after New York became the first state in the US to ban flavoured e-cigarettes as federal health officials investigate breathing illnesses linked to vaping after seven reported deaths due to the use of e-cigarettes.
Twitter was quick to react, and there was some outpouring of support for the Centre’s move.
Incredible decision by #UnionCabinet to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (#ENDS) that include e- cigarettes, e-hookahs and other. Congratulations to @MoHFW_INDIA @drharshvardhan @iamvikassheel @nsitharaman @PrakashJavdekar for this exceptional move to save lives in India. https://t.co/nIOiSneml7
— Vaishakhi Mallik (@vaishakhimallik) September 18, 2019
Great decision favouring our children and youth.
— Nayan Patel (@NayanPatel7) September 18, 2019
The best decision! They are so dangerous.
— Karthik Annapragada (@karthik_consark) September 18, 2019
E-cigarettes, or vapes as they are more commonly known, have been a growing fad among many smokers and non-smokers, especially young millennials. Vapes are hand-held devices from which people inhale/exhale vapour, and according to vape store owners, most customers take to e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.
Naturally, many millennials had many thoughts on the ban, with some even claiming it was just a way for the government to divert attention from their economic failures.
Good decision. Now millenials can buy cars with the money they save. https://t.co/ivUmT88Df2
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) September 18, 2019
No of people died because of e-cigarettes is just a fraction of no of people died due to the draconian Demonetisation. Can be ban the Supreme Leader? #ecigarettes
— Madman (@basherofbigots) September 18, 2019
Wonder what would be the impact of the ban on E Cigarette on the Fiscal deficit?
— R. Balakrishnan (@BalakrishnanR) September 18, 2019
Some Twitter users wryly remarked that e-cigarettes would now be added to the list of things illegally smuggled into India. But many of them said if the government truly cared about health risks, it should ban tobacco cigarettes, which are proven cause of cancer.
E-cigarette is now a contraband.
Let's see if #China can smuggle it into India.
Will ban stand in court??
— संदीप भल्ला Sandeep Bhalla🇮🇳 中国的屁股 (@SandeepBhallaa) September 18, 2019
Not sure why government is banning e- cigarettes only.. all this only opens a new black market which is unregulated. The real killer is tobacco cigarettes.. those who smoke e-cigarettes today will switch to smoking to tobacco after ban. Counter productive.
— Srijan Pal Singh Kalam 🇮🇳 (@srijanpalsingh) September 18, 2019
They will never breathe about banning Zarda, khaini, bidi, cigarettes which are responsible for major cancer burden in India. No evidence of harm from nicotine e cigarettes so let's ban it. Disgusted with their dictatorial, brainless banning spree.
— sudha prashar (@prashar_s) September 18, 2019
#ecigarettes Jai ho to the tobacco lobby in India! Govt cites 7 deaths in the US to ban e – cigs but what about the numerous deaths caused by Cigarettes? Why not completely ban them too? That would mean something!
— A Proud Indian! 🇮🇳 (@nikhilramtri) September 18, 2019
Do you know how many people smoke e-cigarette, they r very less as compared to traditional bidi and cigarette. Do your govt. has the potential to ban those cigarettes.I dont think so, govt. Earns a major revenue from people's lungs.
— Er.vedprakash mandle (@itsvedprakash) September 18, 2019