E-Cigarette seller from Mohali Punjab punished under Drugs and Cosmetics Act

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Chandigarh, April13, 2016: Ms.Vini Mahajan Principal Secretary Health, Punjab disclosed that,in a much awaited judgement the District Court Mohali (SAS Nagar) Punjab has set an example by imposing three years rigorous imprisonment and Rupees one lakh fine for selling E- Cigarettes which are "Electronic Nicotine Delivery System' devices (ENDS). One E-cigarette with eight cartridges were recovered from a Crockery shop in SAS Nagar, in July, 2014 by Drug Inspector Mohali, as a member of District level task force and case was launched in the district court under Section18(c) punishable under Section 27 (b) (ii), Section 18 A punishable under Section 28 and Section 18 (a) (i) punishable under Section 27 (d) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940/Rules 1945. The case was fought vociferously by Food and Drug Administration Punjab.This is probably the first case any where in the world where E-Cigarettes seller has been indicted under Drugs and Cosmetics Act.Having done well in the field of tobacco control in general, Punjab has shown the way to entire country/world to end the ‘ENDS’- - by adopting pro-active approach to check its availability in state. She said that, the measures under taken by Punjab Govt to curb this latest menace were appreciated at national and international levels,in National Conference on Tobacco or Health 2014 in Mumbai and World Lungs Conference 2015 in Cape town South Africa.
MrHussan Lal, Commissioner FDA Punjab said that, E- Cigarettes have ushered a so called "No Smoking Revolution", becoming a fad today especially among the youth. They are marketed as "a healthy substitute to cigarettes". There are a lot of misconceptions about their potential benefits but all this is farce. The most important ingredient of E- Cigarettes is Nicotine. He further told that we issued a Health Advisory which says that "It has been observed that there is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes. That is why Citizens are advised to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages.” Recently, A DO has also been sent by him to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to impress upon departments like Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Department of Information and Technology, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to ensure that online sites do not sell E-Cigarettes.
Dr Rakesh Gupta State Programme Officer Tobacco Control Cell Punjab said that as per experts in the field Nicotine constricts the blood vessels,soit effects all the organs in body from head to toe and can lead to cardiovascular diseases and even stroke. Exposure to Nicotine during adolescence can harm brain development. E- Cigarettes do not emit a harmless water vapour, but an aerosol that has been found to contain at least 10 chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. It is a proven fact that that E- Cigarettes are even more addictive and harmful than normal cigarettes.He further told that two meetings were held by MOHFW to discuss how to curb this upcoming menace.On the basis of discussions held,State drug controller Punjab issued a circular in September 2013declaring E-Cigarettes as "Unapproved Drug". Nicotine preparation that is approved by the Drug Controller of India are Nicotine (as Polarcrilex) Lozenges 2mg and 4 mg, Nicotine as (as Polarcrilex) gums 2mg and 4 mg and Nicotine transdermal therapeutic patches. Selling any other Nicotine product without license is a punishable offence under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. After attending World Lungs Conference 2014 in Barcelona,the former Union Health Minister announced that e-cigs will be banned in India. He further said that we issued awareness notices to e-commerce sites who are openly selling E-cigarettes. After this many e commerce sites have stopped selling e cigarettes to customers from Punjab.
DrH.S.Bali Director Health Services Punjab said that,Department of Health and Family welfare Punjab through State Tobacco Control cell is actively involved in curbing the menace of E –cigarettes. Studies find a significant rise in e-cigarette use each year, especially among young adults and teens. Likewise, e-cigarette use among teens has surged. E-Cigarettes which are easily available through internet is becoming popular in small towns endangering the life of people especially youngsters who are computer savvy. It is being freely sold to even minors by online portals.

Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016