The union cabinet on Wedensday approved an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes and e-hookahs in the country.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of union cabinet, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the decision has been taken to protect the health of citizens.
"The Union Cabinet has given the approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned," Sitharaman said.
Citing a study in the US, she said there had been 900 per cent growth in e-cigarettes between 2011 and 2015-16.
The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance 2019 has as penal provisions including imprisonment for first and repeat offence.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was also present at the briefing, said it was a timely step and the proposal had come to the cabinet after due deliberation.
"This is a welcome step. Prevention is always better," he said.