NEW DELHI: India’s cabinet on Wednesday put a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, a public health move that is seen shattering the expansion plans of companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International.
“The decision was made keeping in mind the impact that e-cigarettes have on the youth of today,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told a media briefing in New Delhi.
She further said that an executive order will be passed to ban the products, which the government believes will advance tobacco control efforts in the country.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India is the world’s second-largest consumer of tobacco products, killing nearly 900,000 people every year.
As India has 106 million adult smokers, this is a flourishing business for firms such as Juul and Philip Morris.
India’s health ministry had proposed to ban the devices in the public interest, saying it was needed to ensure e-cigarettes don’t become an “epidemic” among children and young adults, according to the draft regulation seen by Reuters.