The Indian government announced on Wednesday to ban
electronic cigarettes in the country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, on behalf of imperatives
sanitation and the fight against addiction. "The decision was made with the impact that e-cigarettes have on youth today," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told a news conference. "It has become very fashionable to try them out, to use them," she added.
An order passed by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi prohibits the production, import or export, transportation, storage and sale of electronic cigarettes. A first offense is punishable by one year in prison and / or 100,000 rupees (1,270 euros) fine, up to 3 years and / or 500,000 rupees (6,300 euros) in case of recidivism.
The ban on electronic cigarettes in India comes after a ban by the US state of New York to market flavored electronic cigarettes on its territory. Electronic cigarettes, considered "undeniably harmful" in a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), have recently been facing regulatory tightening around the world, particularly in the United States.
Vaping is the process of inhaling vapors created by heating a liquid at a high temperature, which usually contains nicotine, inside the electronic cigarette. It has been gaining popularity since its appearance in the mid-2000s. The process is presented by its advocates as much less dangerous to health than traditional cigarettes, but lawmakers and health authorities around the world fear that it will ultimately lead to young people smoke tobacco.