Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Governance- Policies, Science & Technology Mains Syllabus : GS-II Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Why in News?

  • The Parliament has recently passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019.

What are e-cigarettes?

  • An electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a battery-powered vaporizer that mimics tobacco smoking.
  • It works by heating up nicotine liquid.
  • Nicotine juice comes in various flavors and nicotine levels.
  • e-liquid is composed of five ingredients: vegetable glycerin (a material used in all types of food and personal care products, like toothpaste) and propylene glycol (a solvent most commonly used in fog machines.) propylene glycol is the ingredient that produces thicker clouds of vapor.
  • Electronic cigarettes do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporize a solution the user then Inhales.

What does the Bill Say?

  • Any production, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale) or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes shall be a cognizable offence punishable with an imprisonment of up to one year or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh or both for the first offence
  • For a subsequent offence, there will be imprisonment of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
  • The Sub-Inspector of Police has been designated as the Authorized Officer to take action under the Ordinance.
  • The Central or State Governments may also designate any other equivalent officer(s) as Authorized Officer for enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinance.

What is the Concern?

  • India has the second largest number of tobacco users (268 million) in the world – of these at least 12 lakh die every year from tobacco-related diseases.
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) solutions and emissions contain other chemicals, some of them considered to be toxicants.
  • ENDS contain nicotine solution which is highly addictive.
  • The flavouring agents and vaporizers used in e-cigarettes are also harmful for health.
  • Use of e-cigarettes has documented adverse effects on humans like DNA damage, carcinogenesis, cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity.
  • It can cause respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders.
  • They are also known to have adverse effects on pregnancy and foetal development.
  • Lack of knowledge about negative effects of nicotine and easy accessibility of these products make the youth prone to addiction.
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