Govt puts Bill to ban e-cigarettes in public domain, invites comments

The Union Health Ministry has put the draft of the bill, that will replace the ordinance issued last month to ban e-cigarettes, in public domain for eliciting views of public.

The ministry intends to introduce the Bill in the forthcoming session of Parliament. The entire Bill has been shared on the ministry's website for public feedback.

"The Government of India promulgated an ordinance namely Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 on September 18.

"The said Bill is placed in Public domain as part of pre-legislative consultations with a view to elicit the comments/views of public. The comments should be specific and focused in the provisions of the Bill," the ministry said in its note attached to the Bill.

When the government brings an ordinance, it has to replace it with a Bill in the next session of Parliament.

On September 18, the government had issued an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes, making the manufacturing, production, import, export, distribution, transport, sale, storage or advertisements of such alternative smoking devices a cognizable offence, attracting jail term and fine.

First time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh or both according to the ordinance.

The storage of e-cigarettes shall now be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both, it said.



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