India Health Ministry Wants Crack Down on Vape Sales

Credit: Dovidovich Mikhail

The Union Health Ministry in New Delhi, India on Monday issued a public notice for stricter implementation of ‘The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2019’, which prohibits the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes.

“The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act, 2019 on December 5, 2019, prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes and the like devices in the interest of public health,” the Ministry’s public notice said, according to The Print.

The Ministry’s public notice comes after finding that the norms allegedly being flouted by the producers, manufacturers, importers, sellers and distributors in selling and advertising electronic cigarettes.

“It is hereby informed to all Producers, Manufacturers, Importers, Exporters, Distributors, Advertisers, Transporters including Couriers, Social Media Websites, e-Commerce Websites, Online shopping websites, Shopkeepers/ retailers etc. not to directly or indirectly, produce or manufacture or import or export or transport or sell or distribute or store electronic cigarettes, whether as a complete product or any part thereof; and if advertise electronic cigarettes or take part in any advertisement (in print, electronic media, internet or website or social media etc.) that directly or indirectly promotes the use of electronic cigarettes.”

A 2022 survey showed that 94 percent of Indian vapers have given up e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS) following their ban in 2019.

The survey, designed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and conducted in collaboration with the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, was disseminated online and targeted those aged 18 to 34. Most respondents were from Karnataka.

The survey also showed that over 56 percent of respondents believed there was a health risk in using ENDS products while 24 percent were unaware of any risks.