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(CNN) - India announced on Wednesday a total ban on the sale of all electronic cigarettes, saying that the devices represented a health risk, especially for young people.
LOOK: They warn about the harmfulness of electronic cigarettes
“Unfortunately, electronic cigarettes were initially promoted as a way in which people can quit smoking cigarettes. It would be a process of weaning from using cigarettes, ”Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.
"The Cabinet rightly thought that it is time and we immediately made a decision so that the health of our citizens, of our young people, is not risky," he added.
Sitharaman said the death of seven people in the US After diseases related to vaping, local concerns about the impact of electronic cigarettes on people's health had increased. Hundreds of people are being treated for lung disease in 36 US states. and experts are investigating or if those diseases are related to the use of electronic cigarettes.
READ: Health warnings for the use of electronic cigarettes in the US
Sitharaman said that in the next few days an emergency ordinance will be issued that prohibits the use of Electronic Nicotine Supply Systems (ENDS). The ordinance will be adopted during the next session of Parliament and will become law.
Sitharaman added that the ban would cover the production, manufacturing, import, export, transportation, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of electronic cigarettes. It includes all forms of ENDS, non-heated products and e-hookah devices, according to a press release.
People who violate the ban once could face up to a year in prison or a fine of Rs 100,000 ($ 1,400) or both. For subsequent crimes, the penalty would be five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rupees ($ 7,000). Storing electronic cigarettes would also be punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of Rs 50,000 ($ 700).
LOOK: The United States will take action against flavored electronic cigarettes
"These novel products have an attractive appearance and multiple flavors, and their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among young people and children," the government said in the statement.
The national measure came after almost a dozen Indian states had taken similar measures.
Vendors with existing stocks must declare and deposit their remaining electronic cigarettes and cartridges at the nearest police station, the statement said.
It is believed that some 35 million people worldwide use electronic cigarettes or newer products that do not burn with heat, according to Euromonitor data and research company.
READ: What do electronic cigarettes contain that makes them so dangerous?
They are popular among smokers in many places who are trying to quit, because they satisfy the need for nicotine while eliminating exposure to tar and toxins from burned tobacco. But many people worry that they are creating new nicotine addictions, particularly among young people.
According to the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report, 39 countries have banned the sale of electronic cigarettes or nicotine fluids.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its emergency operations center this week to better investigate the outbreak of lung lesions associated with electronic cigarettes and the Trump administration has said it is working to ban electronic cigarettes. with taste. A man from California recently became the seventh person to die from a disease related to vaping, health officials said.
Some countries such as the United Kingdom encourage the use of electronic cigarettes as a way to quit combustible cigarettes, but the World Health Organization has not endorsed its use as an aid to quitting smoking, citing inconclusive evidence and concerns raised by non-smokers. They start using them.