India has banned the production, sale, import and advertising of vaping products.
The move comes as part of an initiative to stop the “impact of e-cigarettes on the youth,” the country’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
First-time offenders face up to a year in prison and $1,400 fine, while repeat offenders face the prospect of a three-year sentence and $7,000 fine. It’s still technically legal to smoke an e-cigarette in India, but finding a legal supply of nicotine to smoke will be difficult.
“The decision to prohibit e-cigarettes will help protect the population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through e-cigarettes,” said India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a press release.
“These products are usually marketed as being safer alternatives for conventional cigarettes but such notions of safety are false.”