On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the habit affected youth the most, and the government banned e-cigarettes. “The Union Cabinet has given the approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned,” said Sitharaman in a press conference.
The Finance Minister mentioned that the decision was taken ‘so that we could take early action with regards to the health of people’. She added that the government hoped to pass an ordinance on the same in the next session of Parliament.
E-cigarettes, which are not licensed in India, do not burn tobacco but use a heating element to vaporise liquid nicotine, which the user inhales. That is what differentiates it from a combustible cigarette. More than 900,000 people die each year in the country due to tobacco-related illnesses. But India has 106 million adult smokers, second only to China in the world, making it a lucrative market for firms such as Juul and Philip Morris.