Kahan Singh Pannu, Commissioner, Food and Drugs Administration, Punjab
Chandigarh, October 11, 2018: As a part of Tandarust Punjab Mission, Commissioner Food and Drugs Administration, Punjab Kahan Singh Pannu has re-issued a circular prohibiting sale of E-Cigarettes and even Heat –not- Burn (HNB) devices.
Giving details, Commissioner Drugs Administration informed that Punjab was the first State in India to declare ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System /E-Cigarettes) as unapproved under Drugs and Cosmetics Act way back in 2013, when very few people knew about these harmful products.The online sale was also prohibited by Cyber Crime wing Punjab in 2016.
Now, an Advisory has been issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) including e-Cigarettes, Heat Not Burn (HNB) devices, Vape e-sheesha, e-Nicotine, Flavoured Hookah and the like products.
Acting on the Advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Commissionerate of Food and Drugs Administration has issued a circular calling for stopping the sale or import of electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco devices. Such devices are a "great health risk" and it is quite possible that children and non-smokers using such products could switch to cigarettes once they get addicted to nicotine.
It is pertinent to mention that seizures have been made from time to time in various districts with most recent being in Amritsar wherein 4 e-cigarettes were seized in July 2018. Other seizures have been made in Jalandhar, Ludhiana ,Patiala, Sangrur, Mohali, Hoshiarpur and Mansa.
Although, Punjab is the only state where violators have been awarded conviction in two different cases under Drugs and Cosmetics Act for sale of E-Cigarettes yet the use of e-cigarettes which is also called vaping has risen in teenagers.
He explained that there is ample scientific evidence available about the harms of nicotine and that is the reason it is unapproved under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of India, except as nicotine gums and patches which are approved for cessation.
"Nicotine is also banned under the Poisons Act and Pesticides Act, so we need not promote an unapproved/illegal product with a known lethal dose of 0.5 mg/ kg body weight for cessation," informed CFDA.