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Govt takes ordinance route to ban e-cigarettes, e-hookahs

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 18, 2019 18:32 IST
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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, have been prescribed.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance for banning production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and it proposes a jail term for those violating the provisions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. 

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, have been prescribed. 

 

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

Union health secretary Preeti Sudan said a debate on whether e-cigarettes and similar products are more harmful than tobacco cigarettes was of little help. 

"Why are we debating whether it it more or less harmful...it is a good move to ban it," she told reporters at the cabinet briefing in New Delhi. 

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said it was  a preventive step and it is always better to prevent health risks at a later stage of life. 

The ordinance will come into force once approved by the President. It will be converted into a bill in the next session of Parliament. 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is out of the country and was not present in Wednesday's Cabinet meeting.

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