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'If E-cigarettes, then Why Not Normal Cigarettes and Paan Masala?' Ajay Maken Questions Centre on Ban

The government on Wednesday banned production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products, citing health risk to people, especially the youth, and an ordinance is being issued to make it an offence, entailing jail term up to three years as well as fine.

PTI

Updated:September 18, 2019, 10:58 PM IST
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'If E-cigarettes, then Why Not Normal Cigarettes and Paan Masala?' Ajay Maken Questions Centre on Ban
File photo of Ajay Maken.

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken on Wednesday asked the government why cigarettes and 'paan masala' should not be banned in the country if it can ban e-cigarettes.

The government on Wednesday banned production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products, citing health risk to people, especially the youth, and an ordinance is being issued to make it an offence, entailing jail term up to three years as well as fine.

"It is good that e-cigarettes are being banned, but we want to ask the government whether they will ban normal cigarettes. If e-cigarettes can be banned, then why other cigarettes cannot be banned or whether there could be a ban on paan masala as well," Maken told reporters when asked about the ban on e-cigarettes.

"We want to ask the government if it will ban other cigarettes in the country too," he added.

Maken said US President Donald Trump a few days ago had said e-cigarettes should be banned.

"If Modi ji would have banned e-cigarettes a few days ago, then we could have said that he has not done so to please Trump.

"But, we welcome any kind of such bans. The government should answer that if e-cigarettes can be banned, then why other tobacco-based cigarettes and paan masala should not be banned," he said.

The Union Cabinet's decision to ban production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products also hit the plans of foreign companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International (PM.N) to enter the Indian market.

"The Cabinet today gave approval to a decision to ban e-cigarettes which is also otherwise technically called the ENDS (Electronic nicotine delivery systems), which means production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and storage and advertisement related to e cigarettes are all banned," said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue.

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