The Indian government has issued an advisory against the sale of artificial nicotine products such as vapes, e-cigarettes and e-nicotine flavored hookah in the country. The decision comes after the Delhi High Court slammed the Health Ministry for its inaction.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advisory issued to all the states and Union Territories, manufacturing, distributing, trading, importing and advertising of any artificially produced nicotine products -- Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) -- will be brought to an end soon.
‘Electronic devices that enable nicotine delivery or its use are a health risk to all the public at large.’
The step comes after the Delhi High Court slammed the Health Ministry for not taking regulatory measures on the manufacture, import, sale, and trading of e-cigarettes in the country.
The Ministry stated that in 2014, a roundtable discussion on ENDS was held where health experts and officers of the health and drug departments concluded that such devices are hazardous.
It further said that such electronic devices that enable nicotine delivery or its use are a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age.
The advisory also explained that in addition to creating dependence, nicotine could have adverse effects on the development of the fetus during pregnancy. It may lead to cardiovascular diseases and can also function as a "tumor promoter."
"It is also evident that ENDS are not approved as NRTs (nicotine replacement therapy) under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules...," the Ministry said.
According to the Ministry, Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have already prohibited the manufacture, distribution, import and sale of artificial nicotine products.