NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India banned the sale of electronic cigarettes on Wednesdays and warned of an “epidemic” among young people at the latest and could make the biggest move across the country. deeply against increasing health concerns.
PHOTO FILE: Juul cigarettes and pods can be seen in this picture of a diagram taken on 16 September, 2018. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun
The ban reduces a huge future market by e-cigarette manufacturers at a time when the number of smokers worldwide is declining. It could contribute to company development plans such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International (PM.N) in the country.
“These novel products come with attractive appearances and flavors and their use of exponential and acquired epidemic offenses increased in developed countries, particularly among youth and children,” said the Indian health ministry.
The prohibition also covers the production, importation and advertising of e-cigarettes – but not their use. It comes to light when comic scrutiny is taking place in other countries.
The United States announced last week that it intends to remove e-flavored cigarettes from stores, noting that the sweet flavors of millions of children pulled into nicotine nuclei.
Indian ban will be applied by execution order and will include prison terms of up to three years for offenders.
India has 106 million smokers, second only to China worldwide, making it a profitable market for companies that make up US-based steam products such as Juul and Philip Morris. tobacco that does not consume heat.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the ban at a news conference, where she showed various types of media products, including a Juul vaping device, which is similar to a USB flash drive.
Juul planned to launch his e-cigarette in India and has employed a number of senior executives in recent months. Philip Morris intends to launch his heat-free smoking device in India, he has reported by Reuters.
A spokesman for Juul in India refused to comment. Philip Morris did not respond to comments.
Juul, consisting of a group of giant Altria tobacco (MO.N) They have a 35% share, which already faces government scrutiny in their domestic market and elsewhere. In China, Juul said on Tuesday that its products were not currently available on ecommerce websites, day after its entry into the market.
India's steam products market was valued at $ 57 million in 2018, according to data from Euromonitor International. Prior to the ban, the research group estimated that the market in India would grow by almost 60 per cent a year up to 2022.
Shane MacGuill, head of tobacco research at Euromonitor in London, said that the ban of India could push other countries to continue, affecting the global steam industry.
“It is clear that India has huge potential for steam products,” he told Reuters. “This prohibition would definitively reduce access to companies such as Juul Labs and PMI (Philip Morris International).
The global market for e-small cigarettes is still small compared to cigarettes, but is growing rapidly. Last year global cigarette sales accounted for more than $ 713 billion, compared to $ 15.7 billion for steam products, according to Euromonitor. By 2023, the steam category is expected to double more than $ 40 billion, and cigarettes are expected to decline slightly.
Barristers for e-volatile cigarettes, usually associated with steam formed from the inhalation of liquid containing nicotine, are much less harmful than smoking.
But there are many tobacco control agents against the devices, saying that they could lead to addiction in nicotine and push people to eat tobacco.
More than 900,000 people die every year from tobacco-related illnesses in India, a home of about 1.3 billion people.
The Vapers Society of India, an organization that represents users of e-mail cigarettes around the country, has attacked the government's decision, saying that it would provide a safer solution for millions of smokers to cut back smoking.
CHALLENGE OF COURT?
The prison term ban order will up to one year and a fine of 100,000 rupees ($ 1,404) for first time offenders. A repeat prison sentence would attract up to three years and would be punished for up to 500,000 rupees, the government said.
The prohibition would cover the manufacture, importation, sale, advertisement and distribution of e-cigarettes. But it would not apply to the end users of these devices, said Vikas Sheel, a senior official at the Indian health ministry, with Reuters.
“Over a period of time, people will not get their refills (vape), so they will be responsible,” he said.
The government hopes that the court will be challenged in court, but he was prepared to defend his decision, Sheel added.
Shares in CIT ( tITC.NS), The best cigarette manufacturer in India, nearly 1%, and Godfrey Phillips (GDFR.NS) 5.2% growth. E-part cigarettes are only a small part of their product range.
The prohibition order must be approved by the president before it comes into effect, but this is usually a formality.
Executive orders are normally issued as an emergency measure when the parliament of India is not in session. The prohibition order could go obsolete if it is not permitted when the law is held against the next session of the parliament, which will take place in November.
Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Aftab Ahmed; Additional reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Manoj Kumar and Chris Kirkham; Edited by Pravin Char
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