India Stubs Out E-cigarettes

India has announced a complete ban on electronic cigarettes, joining Australia, Brazil and Singapore among others to take a decisive step against vaping that is blamed for multiple deaths, including in western countries.

The Cabinet cleared an ordinance to ban the production, import, export, distribution, sale, storage and advertisements of electronic nicotine delivery system, or e-cigarettes.

The ban is expected to benefit traditional cigarette companies such as ITC and Godfrey Phillips that were facing competition from e-cigarettes.

The government decision will adversely impact plans of vaping products companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International that were looking to invest in India.

Those violating provisions of the law face imprisonment of up to three years, along with monetary penalty.

All e-cigarette devices and consumable stocks must be deposited with the police once the law comes into force.

The move comes just a week after US President Donald Trump proposed a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

On Tuesday, New York became the second US state after Michigan to ban flavoured e-cigarettes, following several vaping-linked deaths that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking.

The Association of Vapers India, an organisation representing e-cigarette users, called the decision draconian and a black day for smokers.

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