The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 paving the way for a complete ban on e-cigarettes, by a voice vote.
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha on November 27, 2019.
The Bill to prohibit the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes seeks to replace the ordinance issued by the government on September 18, 2019 to ban e-cigarettes.
The Bill introduced by Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan provides for imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both to a first time violator. For subsequent offences, the crime is punishable with a jail term of up to three years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh.
Under the Bill, no person is allowed to use any place for the storage of any stock of e-cigarettes. If any person stores any stock of e-cigarettes, he will be imprisoned for up to six months, or fine up to Rs 50,000 thousand rupees, or both.
If an authorised officer suspects contravention of any provision of the bill, he can search any place where trade, production, storage or advertising of e-cigarettes is being undertaken, without warrant.
(With inputs from agencies)