Union home ministry asks every state and UTs to strictly enforce ban on e-cigarettes
Kolkata/IBNS: Referring to the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 promulgated on Sept 18, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a written directive to the Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police (DGP) of all states and Union Territories, asking them to strictly enforce the ban on e-cigarettes and other provisions of the ordinance.
The ordinance empowers police officers of the rank of Sub-Inspector and above and other officers as stipulated, with powers to enter, search and seize the prohibited items, without warrant under Section 6.
Sections 4 and 5 of the ordinance provide for prohibition of e-cigarettes while sections 7 and 8 prescribe the punishment for contravention of the provisions.
A sub-committee group constituted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on health effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), considered 251 studies/reports and concluded that there is evidence to prove that the ENDS, and its variants, are harmful to users. This committee, comprising doctors from AIIMS, NCDIR and public health experts, concluded that ENDS are as harmful as any another tobacco products in terms of causing premature deaths and morbidity.
As per the ICMR recent paper, it was noted that e-cigarettes and other such devices contained not only nicotine solution, which was highly addictive, but also harmful ingredients such as flavouring agents and vaporisers. Use of ENDS or e-cigarettes has documented adverse effects on humans, which include DNA damage; carcinogenic, cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity, respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders, and adverse impact on fetal development and pregnancy.
"Further, congruent capacity building and sensitization of the enforcement personnel may be done for effective implementation of the ordinance", the letter said.
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated on September 18 for banning the production, sale and purchase of electronic cigarettes in the interest of public health.