E-CIGARETTES

New Delhi/ PIB News: As per a report of WHO, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems [ENDS] [also known as e-cigarettes] heat a solution to create an aerosol which frequently contains flavourants, usually dissolved into Propylene Glycol or/and Glycerin. ENDS aerosol contains nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco products. In addition to dependence, nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus during pregnancy and may contribute to cardiovascular disease.

The WHO report further says that although nicotine itself is not a carcinogen, it may function as a tumour promoter and seems to be involved in the biology of malignant disease, as well as of neurodegeneration. Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders. The evidence is sufficient to warn children and adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age against ENDS use and nicotine.

E-cigarette has not been separately classified under import policy and is being imported under different HS Codes. Import of e-cigarette, its Accessories and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), for the last three years and current year is as under:

Item DescriptionValue in USD
e-Cigarettes, its accessories and ENDS2016-172017-182018-19*2019-20(Upto 30th April, 2019
38126.3470171.4583483.54Nil
     
* Figures pertaining to the financial years 2018-19 are Provisional. 

As per WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, the Governments of thirty countries, including Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, Korea [Democratic People’s Republic], Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates have already banned Electronic Nicotine Delivery System in their countries.

Ban on import is not possible unless there is a legal ban on domestic production, distribution and consumption. Considering that health is a state subject, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, has issued an advisory on 28.8.2018 to all States and Union Territories to ensure that any Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems including e-Cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn Devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine Flavoured Hookah, and the like devices that enable nicotine delivery are not sold [including online sale], manufactured, distributed, traded, imported and advertised in their jurisdictions, except for the purpose and in the manner and to the extent, as may be approved under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940.

Governments of Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan and Meghalaya have prohibited the manufacture, distribution, import and sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems.

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