Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a press briefing on Wednesday announcing a total ban on e-cigarettes in India. Addressing the press briefing, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that e-cigarettes production, manufacturing, sale, import-export, and advertising among other things will be banned in India. The Finance Minister cited health concerns of the citizens over the Cabinet's decision to ban the production and sale of e-cigarettes. Explaining the ill-effects of e-cigarettes at the press briefing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that while the e-cigarettes were 'cool', they were very harmful for the users and also had an adverse impact on passive smokers.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government's decision to ban e-cigarettes completely in India and said that there were over 400 brands sold in India with over 150 flavours such as mint, chocolate, strawberry etc. The Union Minister said that since the e-cigarettes were odourless and hence it was easy to get away with it as it does not smell like a regular cigarette does. Explaining the adverse effects of the e-cigarettes, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the residual nicotine was high in quantity in the smoke exhaled from e-cigarettes as a result of which it affected passive smokers. She further went on to add that the health of the youth of the country was very important and hence the Cabinet has adviced to take the ordinance route to ban e-cigarettes. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that the ordinance would be subjected to the clearing by the President and that it would be taken up in the next session of the Parliament.
"So, the impact of e-cigarettes, although it appears to be cool, has caused a lot of concerns in the US and other Western countries. In the US, there have been seven deaths reported due to impact of e-cigarettes', she said.
On Tuesday, New York announced a ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes. The move came after the federal health officials investigated a surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping. The vote by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council means the prohibition, which covers flavoured e-cigarettes and other vaping products except for menthol and tobacco flavours, goes into effect immediately. Retailers have been given two weeks to remove the merchandise from store shelves.