The Government has issued an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes on Thursday. This will make the production, import, export, transport, sale or advertisement of such smoking devices an offence attracting jail term and fine.
The first time violators will face one year imprisonment and a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh. For frequent offenders, 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.
"The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes", said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Sitharaman, who had headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue, said the Cabinet decided to ban e-cigarettes and similar products as they pose health risk to people, especially the youth.
(With inputs from PTI)