Govt introduces Bill in Lok Sabha to ban e-cigarettes

The government has put a ban on the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products in the country through an Ordinance promulgated on September 18.

The government on Friday introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to replace an Ordinance which banned the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products in the country.

The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The government has put a ban on the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products in the country through an Ordinance promulgated on September 18.

A Bill, which seeks to replace the Ordinance, makes the manufacturing, production, import, export, distribution, transport, sale, storage or advertisements of such alternative smoking devices a cognizable offence, attracting a jail term and a fine.

While those producing, importing, exporting, transporting, selling, distributing or advertising electronic cigarettes will face a maximum jail term up to one year and/or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh on conviction, a maximum term of imprisonment for three years with a fine up to Rs 5 lakh will be handed down to those committing the offence for second or subsequent times.

The storage of e-cigarettes shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months and/or a fine which may extend to Rs 50,000, according to the Bill.

The Bill authorised officials to conduct searches in premises, stating that where such searches were not permissible, authorities might attach properties, stocks of e-cigarettes or records maintained by the manufacturer, producer exporter, transporter, importer, stockist against whom a complaint had been made.

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