E-cigarettes banned in India; pose 'health risk' for children, youth: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Wednesday that e-cigarettes will be banned in India with immediate effect.
India,E-cigarettes banned,Nirmala SitharamanWithin minutes of Sitharaman's announcement, e-cigarettes became the top trend on Twitter in India.
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In a move to curb combat tobacco addiction among Indians, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Wednesday announced that e-cigarettes will be banned in the country with immediate effect. Addressing the media in a press conference, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "The Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned." Sitharaman also pointed out that vaping products pose a huge problem and increase the risk of children taking up smoking. 

Highlighting the issue further, Sitharaman said, "Reports say that there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured yet in India. And they come in over 150 flavours." 

She announced that the Union Cabinet has cleared an ordinance that has been sent to President Ram Nath Kovind. Within minutes of Sitharaman's announcement, e-cigarettes became the top trend on Twitter in India. The Health Ministry also laid down stringent rules and fine if anyone is found vaping or with vaping products. 

The punishment proposed is imprisonment up to one year or a fine of up to Rs one lakh, or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, imprisonment of 3 years or a fine up to Rs five lakh or both. According to a NDTV report, banning alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn smoking devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookahs was among the key priorities of the first 100 days agenda of the Narendra Modi government in its second term.

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