BW In-Depth: All You Need To Know About E-Cigarettes Ban
The e-cigarette bill presented in Lok Sabha which seeks prohibition on manufacturing, production, import, export, distribution, transport, sale, storage and advertisements of alternative smoking devices.
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Loksabha Passes The Bill
In the starting period of the winter session, Lok Sabha passed the bill which seeks to ban electronic cigarettes. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stressed on the bad impact of e-cigarettes and said, e-cigarette companies promoting it as a new fashion statement for youth and it must be banned to eradicate intoxication from the lifestyle of youth.
An ordinance was issued on September 19 for an immediate ban on the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes. The new bill will replace the ordinance.
What Law Says?
First-time offenders will face a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh can be imposed. For subsequent offences, a jail term can be extended up till three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both will be imposed.
The storage of e-cigarettes shall also be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or both.
What Are E-cigarettes?
An e-cigarette is a type of electronic inhaler filled with nicotine and other chemical liquids. This inhaler converts the liquid into steam with the energy of the battery, which makes the inhaler feel like smoking a cigarette. Such devices are called Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), which are used to heat a nicotine solution to make aerosols. It is also available in different tastes. Sometimes, the liquid used in e-cigarettes is nicotine and many times more dangerous chemicals. In addition, some brands use formaldehyde in e-cigarettes, which are extremely dangerous and carcinogenic.
According to the WHO, the e-cigarette industry has reached a global trade of $3 billion. There are 500 brands and more than 8,000 flavours available globally. Generally an e-cigarette costs between Rs 500 and Rs 5,000. Manufacturers claim that aerosol is just water vapour, but recent tests have confirmed the presence of toxic chemicals in it
Why E-cigarettes Are Being Banned?
E-cigarette companies positioning it as the ‘new fashion statement’ for youth and millennials are getting influenced by it. Consumption of e-cigarette doubles the chances of depression. According to research, people who consume e-cigarettes increase their risk of heart attack by 56 per cent. At the same time, consuming it for a long time can also cause blood clotting problems.
World And E-cigarettes
Before India, it has also been banned in New York, a US state. The trend of such cigarettes had increased greatly among the youth living there. Due to which the number of diseases related to the lungs increased. After this, e-cigarettes have been banned completely here. New York City has become the second state in the United States after Michigan where flavoured e-cigarettes have been banned.
E-Cigarettes In Indian Market
According to reports, nearly half of the e-cigarettes are sold through the online market. China emerged as the largest supplier of e-cigarettes in India. The culture of e-cigarettes was started as an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking, but over a period of time, it has also started becoming a habit. There is no regulation of e-cigarette sales in India, which makes it easier for children and adolescents to buy e-cigarettes online.
The Way Forward
BW Businessworld reached out to Nakul Pathania, Lawyer at High Court, to know the legal aspect and the way forward for the vaping Industry. Pathania remarked, “The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019 has effectively killed the nascent Vaping Industry in our country. Now the only recourse left to the affected parties is to approach the Superior Courts of the Land and challenge the validity of the Statute. It is also quite safe to presume that it will be a long and protracted legal battle weighed in heavily against the vaping industry."
Stressing on Industry perspective Pathania further added, "however, one aspect cannot be ignored, that Electronic cigarettes with all their real & perceived evils do in fact, offer a viable, effective and safe means to quit tobacco addiction. It will be prudent if the industry engages in deep research to make vaping products safe and lay down industry standards which would enable them to sway the opinion of the public, health professionals, NGOs, Courts and ultimately the government of the day in their favour.”