The Cabinet on September 18 has approved the ordinance banning e-cigarettes, CNBC-TV18 reports.
The Health Ministry had proposed an executive order from the government banning the devices in public interest. This, it said, was needed to ensure e-cigarettes do not become an 'epidemic' among children and young adults.
In a draft ordinance earlier Health officials had proposed maximum imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh for first-time violators.
The ministerial panel which gave the final touches to the ordinance was headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The ban on e-cigarettes was among the top priorities of the Narendra Modi government's first 100 days agenda in its second term.
In February this year, the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation had written to all state drug controllers, advising them to prevent the sale, online sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, import or advertisement of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems).
Soon after, the Delhi High Court stayed an order of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) banning the sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, import and advertisement of e-cigarettes and vapes in India.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex medical research body, had also recommended a ‘complete ban’ on ENDS, citing a possible initiation of nicotine addiction among non-smokers as well.