India officials announced that they will implement a complete ban on all e-cigarettes in light of recent reports of deaths and illnesses. They said they are making this move in order to protect the country’s youth.
According to CNN, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attributes the decision to the recent vaping-related deaths in the U.S., along with the other cases of vaping sickness. “Unfortunately, e-cigarettes got promoted initially as a way in which people can get out of the habit of smoking cigarettes. It was to be a weaning process from using cigarettes,” said Sitharaman said on Sept. 18. “The Cabinet rightly thought it is time and we immediately took a decision so that the health of our citizens, of our young, is not thrown to a risk,” she added.
The new emergency ordinance banning the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) is going to be issued soon, and an official, long-term ordinance will be taken up during the next session of Parliament and converted into law.
Sitharaman also added that the ban would cover the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes. That means there is no way around the ban; nothing can be made in the country or imported to consumers. “These novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavors and their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children,” a press release about the statement detailed.
India is a country full of people who really love cannabis—with ancient traditions of cannabis consumption methods like bhang. A recent study revealed that Delhi in India is the third-highest cannabis-consuming city in the world, and the country is also a major hotbed for the scientific study of cannabis. Let’s hope the e-cigarette ban does not in any way end up extending to even more cannabis prohibition.