It took less than a week for the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to ban vapor products after the central government urged all states to prohibit them. Tamil Nadu became the seventh Indian state to ban the sales of e-cigarettes.
The ban covers the manufacture, sale, distribution, trade, trade, marketing, import and possession of vaping products, according to the Times of India. The order from the Health and Family Welfare Department took effect immediately.
The state’s health minister C. Vijayabaskar had already promised in a June speech to the state assembly that a ban was forthcoming. “The ads of electronic cigarettes claim that they will not cause any harm,” Vijayabaskar told legislators. “The Tamil Nadu government has already banned chewable tobacco products. So, electronic cigarette will also be banned in the state.”
Two days after issuing the vape ban, Vijayabaskar’s residence was raided by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with a corruption investigation involving illegal production and imports of gutkha (a mixture of tobacco and various carcinogenic substances) and other chewable tobacco products. The health minister has been under suspicion in the corruption probe for months. Gutkha is one of several forms of unsafe oral tobacco products that are commonly used in India.
The agency has been investigating all aspects of the offence of illegal manufacture, import, supply, distribution and sale of gutkha and other forms of chewable tobacco which are banned in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala are the other six states that have banned vapes. Advocates expect other states to follow the advisory issued by the national government’s health undersecretary T. Chinsum Naula on Aug. 29.
Tamil Nadu is the southernmost state in India. It boasts the country’s second-largest state economy, and the sixth-largest population (72 million). The capitol Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is home to seven million people.