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

Satellite imagery shows activity at North Korea missile site

Satellite imagery has shown vehicle activity at a North Korean missile site on the outskirts of Pyongyang, which could signal the imminent launch of missiles or missile engine tests. Vehicles have been spotted at the missile research center in recent days, but they are not believed to be fueling missiles. The US officials were uncertain whether North Korea was preparing to launch short or medium-range missiles or engine tests. The “activities are consistent with what we’ve seen prior to other missile tests,” one US official told CNN. While there was no sign of an imminent launch, Pyongyang could do so as always, other US officials added. Built in early 2017, the missile research center near Pyongyang is considered one of the key facilities for nuc


By The Korea Herald
January 27, 2020

Business, Culture and society

OPINION: Mockery of press freedom

The year 2019 saw more incidents related to press freedom violation than in the past seven years, according to a report of Freedom Forum Nepal. At the end of last year, a photo of a so-called oath-taking ceremony, in which around 350 media persons were seen swearing allegiance to the ruling party and the government, went viral. This is perhaps the worst mockery of independent journalism in the country observed in 2019. Looking back at the past year from the perspective of press freedom and freedom of expression, the Nepal Communist Party-led government appears to have become more aggressive and hostile with its attempts to control the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Aiming to silence criticism against the government and the ruling party, it introduced severa


By The Kathmandu Post
January 24, 2020

Business, Culture and society

Virus-hit Wuhan temporarily shuts down local transportation

The local government of Wuhan has announced that all public transportation in the city will be temporarily closed starting at 10am on Thursday. The local government of Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus, announced that all public transportation in the city — local buses, long-distanced buses, subway and ferry — will be temporarily closed starting at 10am on Thursday. All flights and trains scheduled to depart from Wuhan also will be temporarily canceled to reduce the risk of spreading the new virus, the government said. Residents in Wuhan were suggested not to leave the city if there is no particular reason, according to the announcement.


By China Daily
January 23, 2020

Business, Culture and society

Kashmir, Afghanistan in focus as PM Imran, Trump meet on sidelines of Davos summit

US President Donald Trump reiterated his long-standing offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum assembly in Davos, Switzerland. The summit is taking place from January 21 to January 24. Trump’s offer came during a pre-meeting press briefing featuring the two world leaders, where Trump also called Prime Minister Imran “his friend” and expressed his pleasure over meeting him once more. The occasion marks the third time the two world leaders have met since the premier assumed office in July 2018. “We’re talking about Kashmir […] if we can help, we certainly will be helping. We’ve been watchin


By Dawn
January 22, 2020

Business, Culture and society

Thai-Chinese consortium to build world’s largest hydro-floating solar project for Thai electricity agency

Under the Power Development Plan BE 2561-2580 (PDP2018), the first hydro-floating solar hybrid project has been implemented by Egat at Sirindhorn Dam. The consortium of BGRIM Power – Energy China , comprising  B Grimm Power Plc (BGRIM) and China Energy Engineering Group Shanxi Electric Power Engineering Co Ltd. (Energy China) has signed a EPC contract to build the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). Under the Power Development Plan BE 2561-2580 (PDP2018), the first hydro-floating solar hybrid project has been implemented by Egat at Sirindhorn Dam. BGRIMM Power – Energy China consortium as selected bidder with the deal worth over Bt842 million, will construct and install a 4


By The Nation (Thailand)
January 21, 2020

Business, Culture and society

China, Myanmar have productive exchange during Xi’s visit

A number of cooperation documents were exchanged by China and Myanmar covering areas as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications amid President Xi Jinping’s state visit on Saturday. China and Myanmar exchanged a number of cooperation documents covering such areas as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications amid President Xi Jinping’s state visit on Saturday.The exchange ceremony was attended by Xi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The two countries issued a joint statement the same day.In his talks with Aung San Suu Kyi, Xi said the two countries should speed up connecting development strategies and jointly push the building of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.Hailing the corridor as a flagship


By China Daily
January 20, 2020