Government issues ordinance to ban e-cigarettes

PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing a press conference (PTI photo)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing a press conference (PTI photo)

The Government on Thursday issued an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes making the production, import, export, transport, sale or advertisements of such “alternative” smoking devices a cognizable offence attracting jail term and fine.

First-time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both according to the ordinance.

The storage of e-cigarettes shall now be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue, said the Cabinet decided to ban e-cigarettes and similar products as they pose a health risk to people, especially the youth.

(PTI)