New DelhiJuly 3
The government is reportedly set to ban e-cigarettes in the country by labelling them as "drugs". E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are devices that mimic the act of smoking. However, instead of burning nicotine like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes vaporise a liquid that may or may not contain nicotine.
The sale of e-cigarettes in India is currently unregulated and the government has been considering banning the devices. However, under the current law governing tobacco products, the government cannot ban cigarettes but only regulate their sale.
So, the government reportedly set up a panel to look into how to ban e-cigarettes. The panel, according to a report by business website Livemint, concluded that e-cigarettes could be classified as "drugs" since they are used, among other reasons, for nicotine de-addiction.
E-cigarettes are controversial and a growing body of research suggests that they may be hazardous for health. While they were initially introduced as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, in recent years, have become 'fashionable'.
According to Livemint, government data show that currently more than 460 brands of e-cigarettes are available in India in over 7,700 flavours. It said that banning the sale of e-cigarettes was part of the agenda for the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government's second term in office.