Gandhinagar, July 3 (IANS) The Gujarat government on Wednesday passed a bill making manufacturing, sales (including online), distribution, import or advertisement of E-cigarettes a cognizable offence with punishment of maximum three years in jail.
Tabling the amended Bill in the House, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Home, said, “After amending the COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) and prohibiting the ‘hukkah bar’ in the state, we have now amended it with a prohibition on E-Cigarette. This was possible only through sheer political will to follow the stringent prohibition policy of the state.”
The minister said, “More than 30 countries and 12 states of India have banned E-cigarettes, but that was only through passing a resolution for it. Gujarat is the first state to bring in an amendment in the central’s 2003 Act for its implementation.”
Jadeja further said that “E-Cigarettes were freely available as there were no restrictions on its sale in the state. Even minor children were able to buy it online. This growing menace needed to be stopped right at its birth.”
According to the provisions in the amended Act, 2019, violation of the law will fetch an imprisonment of minimum one year to a maximum of three years and a penalty of Rs 20 thousand to 50 thousand. As it being a cognizable offence, any official with rank equivalent or higher above PSI will have the powers to confiscate the materials used in violation of the law.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) or more popularly known E-Cigarettes are modern battery operated devices which heats a solution to create an aerosol or vapour which releases it in the inhaler’s body, giving one the same feeling as that of nicotine inhalation.