Friday , 20 September 2019
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Govt mulling options to enforce ban on e-cigarettes

New Delhi: The government is mulling various options including bringing an ordinance to enforce a ban on manufacture, sale and import of ENDS devices including e-cigarettes if it fails to get a reprieve from the Delhi High Court, which had earlier stayed its order to ban such products, sources said.

Banning such alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookah among others, is one of the priorities of the Health ministry as part of the first 100 days agenda of the second term of the Modi government.

With more than 75 days having passed, the Union health ministry has swung into action wanting to implement the ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution and import of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).

“The ministry is exploring various options including bringing an ordinance to enforce a ban on the manufacture, sale and import of ENDS devices,” the sources said.

The Ministry is also learnt to have sought a legal opinion over the issue. If the government bring an ordinance, it will have to replace it with a Bill in the next session of Parliament. Once Parliament approves the Bill, the proposed ban on such products will get a legal

backing.

The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) had written to all state drug controllers, saying they should not allow the sale, online sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, import or advertisement of ENDS.

A single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court, in March this year, had granted an interim stay on the Centre’s circular banning sale and manufacture of ENDS, saying as the products were not a “drug”, authorities did not have the jurisdiction to issue such a direction.

The Centre appealed against the order before a division bench of the High court which dismissed the appeal against the interim stay.  It further directed the government to approach the single judge bench with its plea, the sources said.

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