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Bill banning e-cigarettes passed

Topics covered: 

Issues related to health and Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Bill banning e-cigarettes passed

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key provisions, e-cigarettes- concerns, effects on health, need for regulation, challenges associated and measures needed.

 

Context: Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019.

Provisions of the bill:

  1. The Bill categorizes production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of e-cigarettes and similar devices as cognizable offences.
  2. The bill stipulates that persons found in violation of the law for the first time will face a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years and fine upto Rs 5 lakh.
  3. It further punishes storage of e-cigarettes with imprisonment up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or both. Once the Bill comes into force, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to declare and deposit these stocks at the nearest office of an authorized officer.

What are Electronic-cigarettes?

Battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.

These include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices.

Why prohibit?

  1. Their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.
  2. Apart from nicotine, e-cigarettes may also be used for delivery of other psychoactive substances.
  3. Widespread use and unchecked proliferation of e-cigarettes and the like devices would seriously undermine and derail Government’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use.

Significance of the decision:

  • The decision to prohibit e-cigarettes will help protect population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.
  • Enforcement of the Ordinance will complement government’s efforts for tobacco control and will help in reduction of tobacco use and reduction in associated economic and disease burden.
  • The WHO has also urged member countries to take appropriate steps including prohibiting these products.

Sources: the Hindu.