Rejecting the claims of the opposition parties, the Minister said that e-cigarette was “less harmful, but it does not mean that it is not harmful”.

A Bill to ban e-cigarettes was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with voice vote after the government raised the issue of health hazards like cancer. 

Replying on the debate over the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, Advertisement) Bill, 2019, which resumed on Wednesday, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said the product was very harmful for the health of the people.

The discussion over the Bill began on Tuesday after the Minister moved it for consideration and passing.

Rejecting the claims of the opposition parties, the Minister said that e-cigarette was “less harmful, but it does not mean that it is not harmful”.

Vardhan also defended the ordinance which the Centre promulgated in September this year, saying the government felt the need to nip in the bud the growing use of e-cigarettes and similar products.

Participating in the debate over the Bill on Tuesday, various lawmakers from the Congress, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) targeted the government for safeguarding the business of private Indian Industries, involved in the production of other tobacco products.

The Minister said it was necessary to ban e-cigarettes, which are battery-operated e-devices that heat a substance (natural or artificial) to create vapour for inhalation. E-cigarettes may contain nicotine and flavours, and include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat-not-burn products, and e-hookahs.

On September 18, the Centre promulgated the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, Advertisement) Ordinance that prohibited the manufacture, trade and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India.

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