Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In a development that would reduce serious potential health problems, including cancer, caused by use of e-cigarettes, the Karnataka government has banned electronic cigarettes in the state with immediate effect from Wednesday.
Health Minister UT Khader said that the decision has been taken on the recommendation of the committee on cancer prevention.
He said e-cigarettes mimic the size and shape of cigarettes and contain a cartridge containing liquid, which includes nicotine (up to 36 mg/ML) among other chemicals (usually propylene glycol or glycerol).
The government, in a circular, said the state has knowledge that Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems or e-cigarette and other similar products have been sold illegally (including online sale), without a obtaining valid license from appropriate authority specified by law.
It also pointed out that the use of nicotine in food products and consumption by public is banned under Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 and Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulation 2011.
"Nicotine is allowed as an aid for de-addiction in nicotine replacement therapy under Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, it is not allowed for any other purpose under law.
"Therefore, the state government hereby prohibits the sale (including online sale), manufacture, distribution, trade, import and advertisement of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, its parts and components in any shape or size of cartridges containing nicotine in the interest of public," the circular said.
The Indian Medical Association 9IMA) had in January discouraged the use of electronic cigarettes to cut down on smoking as these disguised forms of tobacco can have "serious" long-term effects on health.
Karnataka is the third state to ban e-cigarettes after Maharashtra and Punjab.
Alternative tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and waterpipes have been gaining popularity as they are often perceived as being relatively safe. However, these products contain chemicals and toxins which may cause serious potential health problems, including cancer.
(With Agency inputs)