Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act
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- With e-cigarettes easily available online and at tobacco shops despite a ban, the Union Health Ministry has issued a public notice for stricter implementation of the Act which prohibits manufacture, sale and advertisements of electronic cigarettes.
The Act and its provisions
- The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Act replaced an Ordinance promulgated in September 2019.
- The Act seeks to prohibits the production, trade, storage, and advertisement of electronic cigarettes.
- The Bill defines electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as electronic devices that heat a substance, which may contain nicotine and other chemicals, to create vapour for inhalation.
- These e-cigarettes can also contain different flavours and include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat-not-burn products, e-hookahs, and other similar devices.
Banning of e-cigarettes:
- The Bill prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India.
- Any person who contravenes this provision will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For any subsequent offence, the person will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
Storage of e-cigarettes:
- 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 punishable with an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.
- Once the Bill comes into force, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to declare and deposit these stocks at the nearest office of an authorised officer.
- Such an authorised officer may be a police officer (at least at the level of a sub-inspector), or any other officer as notified by the central or state government.
Powers of authorised officers:
- If an authorised officer believes that any provision of the Bill has been contravened, he can search any place where trade, production, storage or advertising of e-cigarettes is being undertaken.
- The authorised officer can seize any record or property connected to e-cigarettes found during the search. Further, he may take the person connected with the offence into custody.
- If the property or records found during the search cannot be seized, the authorised officer can make an order to attach such property, stocks or records.
Q. Consider the following statements:
1. Electronic devices heat a substance, to create vapour for inhalation but it never contains nicotine.
2. If any person stores any stock of e-cigarettes, he will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.
Which of the above statements is/are true?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Correct Answer: b- 2 only