The Union congratulates India for protecting non-smokers and youth by passing the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act 2019

India has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act 2019, which will prohibit the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes in the country. On 18 Sept 2019, the Government of India issued the ordinance to ban e-cigarettes – this has now been approved by both houses of Parliament of India and the President, and is passed into law.

The Union congratulates the Government of India for its sustained support in implementing evidence-based tobacco control policies to reduce tobacco use, and its commitment to passing the ban on e-cigarettes in order to protect non-smokers and young people in India from taking up this highly addictive habit.

The bill was met by staunch opposition from vape groups who actively criticised the ordinance, campaigning extensively on social media and aggressively attempting to persuade the Prime Minister and other high-level government officials against passing the bill.

This resistance was effectively countered by tobacco control advocates in the country with support from The Union, which has provided technical assistance in preparing counter arguments to those of the vape industry.

“The Union has strongly supported the Government of India’s decision to ban e-cigarettes in India, and we are pleased to see that this has now been passed into law, despite heavy opposition from the industry,” said Dr Gan Quan, Director of Tobacco Control at The Union.

“Banning e-cigarettes in the country is the best way to ensure that young people and non-smokers do not take up vaping and become addicted to nicotine, making them more likely to go on to smoke harmful cigarettes. India has shown strong leadership in preventing a vaping epidemic in the country, and we hope that other countries will follow this example.”

The Union and partners began collaborating with Indian Ministries of Health at the national and state levels in 2013 to support the formulation of an e-cigarette position, based on evidence of the products’ impact on health. With Union support, fifteen states banned e-cigarettes at the state level, successfully resisting pressure from the tobacco industry and its front groups, leading central government to implement the national ban.