See More on Facebook

Business, Culture and society

India bans e-cigarettes

The decision has been met with criticism and charges of favouritism.


Written by

Updated: September 19, 2019

The Union Cabinet’s move on Wednesday clearing an ordinance for banning production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and proposing a jail term and fine for its violators evoked mixed reactions among a section of Delhi doctors and other stakeholders.

The Centre’s decision was slammed by trade bodies and certain stakeholders related to e-cigarettes, who reportedly alleged that it was a “draconian” move taken hastily in the interest of the conventional cigarette industry. They also charged that the government was depriving people of a safer alternative to smoking.

Dr Gyandeep Mangal, senior consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, said, “We are glad with the ban on e-cigarettes by Union Cabinet as these are as harmful as regular cigarettes. It is true that e-cigarette doesn’t contain tobacco but it contains liquefied nicotine which may lead to cancer, lung and heart diseases. Hence it is not true that e-cigarettes are safer. Apart from the nicotine, there are other additional components included which are equally harmful.”

He also said, “The fact is that instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users are continuing to use e-cigarettes while still using conventional cigarettes. Hence we can conclude that e-cigarettes are as harmful as regular cigarettes.”

Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had red-flagged the use of e-cigarettes citing studies that have apparently shown that these have the potential to cause nicotine addiction.

Referring to the Centre’s move to ban e-cigarettes, Dr Dharminder Nagar of Paras Healthcare said, “The recent vaping-related deaths in the US have once again put a question mark over the possible toxicity of chemicals present in e-cigarette. While investigation into those deaths have still not been conclusive and point to a possibility of spurious products, we must refrain from looking at e-cigarettes as a safe alternative.”

He added, “There have been long-standing doubts over what manufacturers and some health experts call ‘relative safety’ of e-cigarettes over tobacco cigarettes. We do not have sufficient research to understand the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. There is no ‘good smoke’ and all forms of smoke are bad. The major difference between conventional and e-cigarettes is that the latter do not contain tobacco. However, tobacco is not the only culprit in a cigarette smoke; there is an entire array of other harmful chemicals, many of which are also present in e-cigarettes.”

On the other hand, expressing its resentment over the Centre’s blanket ban on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), the trade body representing importers, distributors, and dealers of e-cigarettes, TRENDS, said that taking the ordinance route itself was an evidence of the “unsustainability” of the government’s position.

“We are confident that given a chance we will be able to explain to MPs across the country that ENDS are a viable alternative to traditional tobacco burn cigarettes and that they are being increasingly mandated for legal sale by developed and progressive countries globally,” said Praveen Rikhy, convenor of TRENDS.

“We believe that the health ministry ran with this proposal to ban on a selective basis, refusing to meet stakeholders, and was defeated in courts and therefore managed to scrape an ordinance to ban it. This does not look good,” Rikhy charged.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Statesman
About the Author: The Statesman is one of India’s oldest English newspapers and a founding member of Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business, Culture and society

More changes friendly to foreign investors on way in China

China is courting more FDI as their cash reserves run lower. China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors’ market access will be consolidated. Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China. Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreig


By China Daily
October 18, 2019

Business, Culture and society

Rationalising climate change

The first step to addressing the alarming problem of climate change is creating awareness, which authors and scientists are tirelessly attempting to inculcate in people. Franz Kafka (1883- 1924), a Bohemian novelist who is considered a major literary figure of the 20th century, wrote, “There is infinite hope… but not for us.” His words tell us of the characters in his narratives who embark on various ventures, but seldom succeed. Today, writers highlight these words of Kafka to refer not to Kafka’s characters, but to humanity’s future with reference to climate change. Some of these writers, in present times, similarly project that the hope for a greener planet is “not for us.” We are informed of mankind’s anguish concerning the problem of climate change. The truth of the matter is that a lot has already occurred, with side effects of climate change being felt the world over. Even a fraction of


By The Statesman
October 17, 2019

Business, Culture and society

No to terrorism, communalism

Still smarting from brutal murder of Abrar, Buet students vow to resist repeat of such incidents.  With the murder of Abrar Fahad fresh in everyone’s minds, protesting students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology yesterday took an oath to resist terrorism and communal forces on the campus. “We will collectively prevent the rise of all sorts of terrorist activities and evil communal forces on the campus. Imbued with morality, we will uproot all the discriminatory cultures and abuses of power,” the students said in unison. “Together we will make sure that no innocent life falls apart and the innocent do not fall victim to torture on this university ground.” Several hundred students took the oath in presence of Buet vice-chancellor Prof Saiful Islam, deans of different faculties and provosts of the halls. The programme was


By Daily Star
October 17, 2019

Business, Culture and society

Prince William pays tribute to Pakistanis who lost their lives to terror

The future King has met the current Pakistan Prime Minister when he was a boy. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, on Tuesday paid tribute to all those who “endured sacrifice and helped build Pakistan to the country it is today”. His remarks came during his first official speech delivered during a reception at the Pakistan National Monument in Islamabad hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew. “For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred. Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today,” said William. He recognised that for “Pakistan’s great potential” to be realised, difficulties will have to be faced and sacrifices made. William also spoke of the “unique bonds” between


By Dawn
October 16, 2019

Business, Culture and society

Personal exchanges cement Sino-US ties, envoy says

Nicholas Platt accompanied US President Richard Nixon on his historic Beijing trip. Over the past four decades the China-US relationship has become too complicated to decouple, and many on both sides are determined to sustain it, a US diplomat and China expert told China Daily in a recent interview. Using an iceberg as an analogy, Nicholas Platt, who accompanied US president Richard Nixon on his historic trip to Beijing in 1972, said in an exclusive interview on Oct 3 that private, nonstate links between China and the United States have grown exponentially in past decades. They are kept intact below the surface despite the “jagged piece of ice” and “sharp edges” seen above the waterline. “There may be people who want to decouple us, but there are a lot of people who don’t, or people who’ve had relationships between” the two countries-organizations,


By China Daily
October 16, 2019

Business, Culture and society

Bengali Nobel laureate Abhijit at a glance

Abhijit Banerjee shared the Nobel Prize for economics. Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee of the US, French-American Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer of the US today won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize for their work in fighting global poverty. Here is the brief profile of Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee: Fifty-eight-year-old Abhijit was born in Kolkata of India in 1961. His mother Nirmala Banerjee was a professor of economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata. Abhijit’s father Dipak Banerjee was a professor and the head of the Department of Economics at Presidency College in Kolkata. He went to South Point School and completed his BS degree in economics from Presidency College in Kolkata in 1981.


By Daily Star
October 15, 2019