Ecigarettes or as we like to call them, vapes, are a hot button topic at the moment as various governments seek to curb their use, particular among youngsters.

We’ve already seen the US move to ban non-tobacco flavoured vape liquids but India has taken this a step further and banned vaping entirely.

The ban was announced on Wednesday by Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi.

“These novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavours and their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children,” said the PM during a media briefing.

The ban means the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale (including online), distribution and advertising of vapes will be punishable offences. That punishment could earn a person up to a year in prison or a 100 000 rupee fine for the first offence and up to three years or a 500 000 rupee for subsequent offences.

Owners and stockists of vapes in India will need to declare their wares and hand them into a police station.

What is unclear at this stage is when this ban will come into effect

So why the ban? To put it as simply as possible, the government wants to curb tobacco use in India. The World Health Organisation reported last year that 9.5 percent of all deaths in India were tobacco related.

“Considering the highly addictive nature of nicotine; safety concern of flavours in combination with nicotine; risk of use of other psychoactive substances through these devices; initiation of nicotine or psychoactive substances by non-smokers, especially adolescents and youth; dual use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes; scant scientific evidence for use of e-cigarettes as effective tobacco cessation aids; threat to country’s tobacco control efforts; hindrance in achieving the targets envisaged under Sustainable Development Goals, National Monitoring Framework for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and National Health Policy, 2017; and in overall interest of public health as envisaged under Article 47 of the Constitution of India, the decision has been taken to prohibit/ban e-cigarettes including all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices,” Modi concluded.

With India now having banned vapes, we do wonder how long it will be before other countries hop on the trend.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.