Mumbai: After the government banned e-cigarettes, including vapes, on Wednesday with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that the habit affected youth the most, Twitter started speculating about what this ban would mean, as India is the second country after China, to have the highest number of adult smokers.
In a press conference, she explained what the ban meant: "The production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned."
The Finance Minister said the decision was taken “so that we could take early action with regards to health of people”. She added that the government hoped to pass an ordinance on the same in the next session of Parliament.
E-cigarettes, which are not licensed in India, do not burn tobacco but use a heating element to vaporise liquid nicotine, which the user inhales. That is what differentiates it from a combustible cigarette.
Here are a few reactions by netizens:
However, the government’s decision could have came after The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had red-flagged the use of e-cigarettes citing studies that have shown that these have the potential to cause nicotine addiction.