"They want to protect the tobacco industry"
India has decided to completely ban e-cigarettes. But tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, are not affected by the sudden ban.
India, one of the world's most populous countries, has imposed a ban on all sales, imports, exports, manufacturing, storage and transport of e-cigarettes, says the Guardian newspaper.
The reason is said to be an increase in use among young people in the country, but critics argue that this is not the real reason for the ban. In countries like the US and United Kingdom e-cigarettes have become the most popular and effective way to quit smoking. This has significantly reduced sales of analogue cigarettes.
"Our authorities care more about the cigarette industry than about people's health" says consumer organisation Association of Vapers in India to the Guardian newspaper.
State ownership of tobacco companies
India is the world's third largest tobacco producer and exports nearly a billion dollars worth of tobacco products every year. An estimated 45 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on the tobacco industry, says the Guardian.
At the same time, India has the second highest tobacco consumption in the world (100 million smokers) and The Indian government owns shares in one of the country's largest tobacco companies, ITC.
"It's absolutely absurd" says carer Aronjoy, 22, to The Guardian. "It's ok to smoke, but vaping, which is much less harmful, will be banned."
E-cigs banned in Thailand and Singapore
Similar laws exist in other Asian countries such as Thailand and Singapore. The penalty for violating the new Indian road law can be up to one year in prison.
According to the Public Health of England, the British health authority is vaping a much safer method for a smoker E-cigarettes, which are being launched by both tobacco companies and a variety of large and small private players, have the potential to greatly improve the health of smokers, according to PHE, which could eventually benefit countries with high costs for healthcare and treatment of smoking-related harm. In India, every year 900 000 people due to smoking in the country, according to the WHO.