As per the terms of the ban, punishment to be meted out for the first offence by an individual would be a one-year imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Repeat offences could lead to a three-year imprisonment or a penalty of Rs 5 lakh or both, said Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
She said all offences such as import, export and distribution, except storing e-cigarettes and vaping products are cognizable.
The decision comes after demands from several quarters to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), which includes e-cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine Flavoured Hookah, and other similar devices.
E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco but heats the liquid chemicals into vapour or steam that a person inhales. This is the reason it is also called vaping. E-cigarettes are considered harmful to health.
Sitharaman said that currently, though no Indian company was manufacturing e-cigarettes, some 400 brands were already operating here offering the product in 150 flavours.