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Suppliers of vaping devices, including electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn products, are facing growing Government resistance to their efforts to break into the Indian market, according to a story by Anoo Bhuyan published at thewire.in.
At least three ministries are said to have proposed new regulations on the marketing or import of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has proposed an amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2018 to ban the advertisement of such products.
And the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has issued a circular – referring to an advisory from the Union health ministry – that all import consignments of ENDS must be cleared by the drug controllers of the states in which the products arrive.
The controllers are then obliged to check the compliance of the products against the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Based on those reports, non-compliant consignments can be denied clearance and punitive action can be taken against those in violation of the Act.
But the story says that the most striking curb on ENDS comes from the proposed amendments to the IT Act.
The legislation was enacted in 2000 to boost and regulate e-commerce transactions, to prevent digital crime and – more recently – to curb fake news on social media.
Section three of the proposed rules states that ‘intermediaries’ should ensure they do not publish information on anything that threatens public health or safety. It goes on to mention tobacco products, intoxicants including alcohol and ENDS.