E-cigarettes, including vapes, were banned on Wednesday in India, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying the habit affected youth the most.
In a press conference, she explained what the ban meant: "The production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned."
The Finance Minister said the decision was taken “so that we could take early action with regards to 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.
After the announcement, Twitter started speculating about what this ban would mean, as India is the second country after China, to have the highest number of adult smokers.
The ease of access to e-cigarettes could help smokers kick the habit, even as more than 900,000 people die each year in the country due to tobacco-related illnesses.
Banning #ecigarettes by the Government is not because of Health, It is because of Wealth.They'll not ban regular cigarettes, because of heavy revenue from it.If they really cares about the Health and Disease , then they have to ban the entire cigarette of all types. pic.twitter.com/EtXOpAOTfg— Md Furquan Ahmad (@FurquanAMU) September 18, 2019
The governments decision could have came after The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had red-flagged the use of e-cigarettes citing studies that have shown that these have the potential to cause nicotine addiction.