Resist the Ban
The central government is planning to pass an ordinance after the Delhi high court refused to vacate the stay on ENDS ban. This is the last resort of the government, which is attempting to enact a law to bypass the judiciary.
What is an ordinance
According to parliamentary procedure, the government of the day can enact a law when the Parliament is not in session. This can be done by a cabinet approval and thereafter the President’s signature. The ordinance has all the force of an Act passed by Parliament, is valid for 6 months, and has to be approved by both houses of Parliament within six weeks of reconvening. Otherwise it lapses.
All you wanted to know about: Ordinance (The Hindu): bit.ly/30pskA3
What is in this ordinance
It is called the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, sale, distribution and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019. It is a draconian measure which completely bans sale and ads of ENDS, which includes vaping, heat not burn devices like IQOS and also e-hookah. The fine is Rs 1 lakh and 1-year jail for first offence, which can go up to 5 years for repeat offences. It even bans giving out free samples. A key feature is that it doesn’t bring e-cigarettes under COTPA or DCA, but bans them as its own separate category.
What will be the impact
If this ordinance is enacted, which looks likely, vaping as we know it will end. There will be no online stores, no vape shops, anyone selling devices or liquids will be doing so illegally and can be subject to raids and jail terms. However, there is no ban on use or possession, so if you have stock you can use your devices without breaking the law. What will most likely happen is that an underground market will mushroom, but this is not good for anyone as there will be no control on either prices or quality of products. Vape businesses of all kinds will have to shut completely, immediately.
India proposes ban on e-cigarettes, with jail terms for offenders (Reuters): https://reut.rs/31Wj0Uo
What we can do about it
If we want vaping to survive, we will have to fight this ordinance from all angles. Vendors will have to come together on a common platform to mount a legal challenge in the Supreme Court. This will cost a lot, and we request vapers to contribute to such efforts in whichever way they can. At AVI we are working on developing a crowdfunding platform for the legal case. We will notify you about this when it is finalised. Drop us your email here.
Additionally, vapers should immediately start writing to authorities, which include the PM, home minister, cabinet ministers, Niti Ayog and others telling them how vaping has made a positive difference in their lives and how a ban on vaping will force us to go back to smoking, endangering our lives and also of our near ones as passive smoking is as deadly as smoking itself.
We have provided emails of the authorities below, along with Twitter IDs of key ministers to whom you can tweet.
TO: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Shrikar.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
@naredramodi @AmitShah @nitin_gadkari @nsitharaman @ianuragthakur @PiyushGoyal @rsprasad
@drharshvardhan @AshwiniKChoubey @arjunrammeghwal @kishanreddybjp @raosahebdanve @pcsarangi
@VMBJP @somparkashbjp @DrJitendraSingh