New Delhi: With an eye on the health hazards arising out of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is likely to issue a notification regarding a ban on e-cigarettes and e-hookahs.

According to official sources, the proposal has been approved by the Drug Technical Advisory Board, the government’s top advisory body on technical matters related to medicines.

Reports say the proposal banning nicotine inhalers was part of the Modi government’s ‘first 100- days’ agenda. E-cigarettes are illegally bought and sold as a product to help quit smoking. The Government is mulling a ban on the manufacture, import, and sale of e-cigarettes, said reports.

An e-cigarette helps someone wanting to quit smoking by turning a nicotine solution into vapours, giving the user the feeling that he is smoking.  However, experts say e-cigarettes and such devices would fall under the purview of the drug, and therefore should be banned under Section 26 (A) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act (DCA). Reports say India has over 460 brands of e-cigarettes with over 7,000 flavours.

The Union Health Ministry had issued an advisory to restrict the advertisement of ENDS products. Based on the advisory, the central drug regulatory authority had written to all state drug controllers that the proposal of no ENDS products has been approved under DCA. It also asked them to ensure that these products were not sold.

Some states, including Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Mizoram, Karnataka, and Jammu and Kashmir, have already banned e-cigarettes as an unapproved drug. While all of them have banned it under the DCA, some have added the Poisons Act, 1919.