Govt bans e-cigarettes, production, sale will stop soon: Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi: Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday. Following this decision, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are now banned.

The ban on e-cigarettes is expected to have a budgetary impact of Rs 2,028 crore. Nirmala Sitharaman said the key reason behind the move was the alarming rate at which vaping is becoming popular among the younger population.

“E-cigarettes were promoted as a way to get people out of their smoking habits but reports have shown that many people are not using it as weaning mechanism but are addicted to it,” said Sitharaman while announcing the government’s decision to put a ban on e-cigarettes.

The minister added, “Reports say that there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured in India. And they come in over 150 flavours.”

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

A draft ordinance suggests that storage of e-cigarettes will now be punishable by Rs 50,000, imprisonment up to six months or both.

Soon after Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement, cigarette stocks climbed on the stock market. Shares of ITC rose over 1.5 per cent, Godfrey Phillips India stocks jumped close to eight per cent and Goden Tobacco went up approximately 4.5 per cent.

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