BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has banned Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) including e-cigarettes with immediate effect in public interest.
As per an advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, ENDS like alternative smoking devices, e-cigarettes, Vape, e-sheesa, heat-not-burn devices, e-nicotine and flavoured hookah have been categorised as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
Though e-cigarettes do not fall within the scope of existing national legislation on tobacco production, distribution and use, doctors claim that these pose significant health risks to users that are frighteningly similar to those of conventional cigarettes.
As any item intended to be used as an aid to help quit smoking is covered under the definition of drugs under the Act, manufacture, sale and distribution of ENDS are prohibited under Section 26A of the Act. Stating that use of these devices can lead to nicotine addiction among non-smokers too, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had earlier recommended a complete ban on ENDS.
In-charge Drugs Controller Mamina Patnaik said outlets selling these items would be dealt with strictly. “Hookah bars and hangout joints have been warned about the ban. We will soon conduct surprise raids,” she said.
Kalinga Hospital, which was raided recently, has been served a seven-day show-cause notice. Action would be initiated as per rules if the reply is found unsatisfactory, informed Patnaik.