The proposal to ban e-cigarettes has been approved by the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government's top advisory body on technical matters related to medicine in the country, the report said citing official sources.
The classification is significant because under current Indian law the government cannot ban tobacco products courtesy the "Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act".
The Indian government's move to propose banning e-cigarettes after labelling them "Drugs" comes amid a raging debate over the harm-reduction aspects of the Indian Health Ministry’s new set of proposals.
The proposed ban comes subsequent to the Indian Health Ministry deciding to ban nicotine inhalers, called as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) after identifying their harmful effects on the human respiratory system.
Not only has the Health Ministry proposed a manufacturing ban, they have also reportedly requested the central government stop their sale and import in the country.
Netizens had their own take on the government’s proposed move. Some of them sought to know why there were no bans on popular Bollywood actors promoting smoking.
If Govt is really serious about usage of Drugs/Alcohol thy should ban or Charge "Surrogate/Shadow Advertisement" of these products trough Songs, Movies .Alcohol companies r paying Directors to put songs like content Sutta/Daru to promote their Products, which they can't do openly— Santosh Singh💕 (@SuccessSantosh) July 3, 2019
These 'heroes' are still appearing in these ads.https://t.co/4kCEzOgRlv— Hariom (@llrhknp) July 3, 2019
While some users spoke against the government’s proposed ban, others suggested that the banning of traditional cigarettes would be a better option instead.
So they are being classified as smoking cessation devices under DCA and then banned for lack of approval. So effectively banning #SmokingCessation while cigarettes are available on every street corner. How very #IndianGovernMental . Thousands of people will go back to smoking.— Weasel, Wordy (@weltergeist) July 3, 2019
On what basis? Obviously it’s without reason. Acute absurdity. Hallmark BJp— hm (@hmdelhi) July 3, 2019
According to the data available on a government of India website, India has more than 460 brands of e-cigarettes with more than 7,700 flavours.
While the government seeks to ban them saying the risks that e-cigarettes pose to users are similar to those of conventional cigarettes, the companies selling e-cigarettes in India have often claimed that these devices help in smoking cessation and aren’t as harmful as conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes have often been marketed in the country as a product that can help smokers kick their habit.