The government of India has banned the use of electronic cigarettes in the country, indicating concerns about youth health. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the press that the measure also covers the production, manufacture, importation, exportation, transportation, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of the products.
Electronic cigarettes were launched with the aim of reducing the consumption of conventional cigarettes, but due to the popularization and increase of this trend among young people, they have encouraged nicotine addiction. The minister said that, based on data from the United States experience on this issue, smoking increased by 77.8% among young people. Among American high school students, this figure is 48%.
Tobacco is still released
India is a huge market for cigarette companies of all types as it has about 106 million adult smokers. The ban on electronic cigarettes, despite ending startups like Juul, will not affect the large and traditional tobacco producers. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use in the country is responsible for the deaths of approximately 1 million people per year.
The security measure has yet to be approved by the Indian parliament, although this step is usually considered a formality.
Fine and jail
Those who break the ban for the first time will be subject to a fine of 100,000 rupees ($ 1,405) and imprisonment for up to one year. Those who break the measure more often will have a penalty of up to three years and a fine of up to 500,000 rupees. It is still unclear whether e-cigarette users will be banned from smoking.
The United States is also moving to tighten regulations on these electronic cigarettes in response to concerns about the health of its young people. This month, the US government said it is working on a compliance policy for flavored electronic cigarettes, which are especially appealing to children.