The Indian Government has banned and criminalized the sale, distribution and import of all vape devices and e-liquids but say ‘personal use‘ is not a punishable offense.
In other words once that mod or coil dies and your bottle of juice empties, unless you find a dodgy back street dealer, you will not be able to vape any more in one of the largest so called ‘democracies’ in the world.
There seems to have been surprise among the wider vape community over the Indian Government’s ban order.
However the writing’s been on the wall for over two years and I’ve covered the slow creep towards a total vape ban in the country for almost as long.
He told me they’d only become aware of the government’s plan to ban all things vape a few months prior to our interview and was desperately calling for support from the country’s vapers and of course the vape industry.
Sadly his words filled with hope at the time and a call to action for the country’s vapers to fight any ban went unheeded:
If each vaper takes it upon themselves to talk about it to others and tell them how vaping changed their lives, public opinion is bound to shift in our direction.
It is the battle of perception that we must not lose at any cost.
Unfortunately it looks like the battle has been lost – so what is the Indian Government saying and how the heck did we get here?
India Vape Ban Is “Draconian”
Last month I wrote a piece: Jail Sentences For Vaping In India?
It was based on leaked government documents setting out the plan to ban vaping in India and despite being a draft they were eerily accurate.
Whilst the ‘act’ of vaping is not criminalized, selling – importing or any distribution is, which obviously means unscrupulous types will create a thriving and dangerous black market to meet the need of the country’s millions of vapers.
#CabinetDecision: Individual possession of e-cigarettes for personal use is not an offense.#SwasthaBharat #HealthForAll #CabinetDecision #ecigarettes #vaping@PMOIndia @NITIAayog @PIB_India @drharshvardhan @AshwiniKChoubey pic.twitter.com/NklnpG28Gl
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) September 18, 2019
As we’ve seen over in America, black market cannabis cartridges have led to up to 7 deaths and over 450 respiratory illnesses.
Knowing India as well as I do – I have no doubt whatsoever unregulated and life threatening devices and e-liquids will flood the black market which is public health disaster in the making.
Heavy fines and even prison sentences of up to 3-years will be meted out to those who flout the law.
The ban was announced by finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman who told the media:
The decision was made keeping in mind the impact that e-cigarettes have on the youth of today.
‘Protecting the children’ jeez where have we heard that before?
And it’s interesting the Finance Minister was the face of the bombshell and NOT the Health Ministry.
That could be down to how the government has implemented the ban.
Ordinances are laws that are promulgated by the President of India (Indian Parliament) on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.
They can only be issued when Parliament is not in session.
They enable the Indian government to take immediate legislative action.
Shocking and sneaky to say the least.
AVI spokesman Samrat Chowdhery told the Economic Times of India:
The ordinance will put lives at risk.
The haste shown by the government in enacting a ban indicates it is more concerned about protecting the cigarette industry than improving public health
The government may be patting its back for banning e-cigarettes but this is a draconian move considering the risk to the health of crores of smokers.
From the start, the government has not been considerate about public health or public welfare, backing biased scientific evidence which has been rebutted by scientists from across the world for cherry-picking and misinterpreting research to target Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
Praveen Rikhy spokesman for Trade Representatives of ENDS [TRENDS] said the Indian Government had “murdered democracy” adding:
All our representations sharing best practices from other countries – 70 developed countries have allowed regulated sale of e-cigarettes – have been completely ignored.
Also noteworthy here is the influence of powerful tobacco lobbies and anti-tobacco lobbies and how they have converged in an unusual confluence of interests.
An unusual gathering of anti-vape groups for sure, but no surprise given the close ties politicians over there have with the huge tobacco industry.
WHO Congratulates India For Forcing Vapers Back To Smoking
Whilst most of the world has reacted with dismay or shock over the vape ban – guess who praised the country’s move?
You guessed it – those idiots from the World Health Organization – that’s who…
— WHO South-East Asia (@WHOSEARO) September 18, 2019
Here we have the supposed world heath ‘watchdogs’ applauding the banning of e-cigarettes whilst killer lit tobacco is allowed to be sold.
I’ve banged on about the WHO’s stance on vaping for so long now – but it still makes my blood boil how they can be so anti…
Oh wait, it’s all about the money honey.
Without that big bad tobacco industry, the WHO would lose a ton of money and those fat assed unelected bumbling bureaucrats wouldn’t enjoy half as many 5 star First Class junkets around the world preaching their BS message.
With 12 million smokers in the country and many starting very young – removing the safer alternative of e-cigarettes is the biggest act of Democide the world has witnessed in a long time.
There’s almost 1 million deaths per year in India from diseases related to smoking and that figure will surely rise.
The definition of Democide?
…the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government … to include forms of government murder not covered by the term genocide.
Governments have been the biggest mass killers of people for centuries and by banning vaping India just placed themselves in the top 3.
Shame on them and shame on the WHO too – absolute bastards – all of them.