It is no secret that for the longest time (pretty much since smoking became an active activity, in fact) smoking has been a consistently engaged in activity for hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe. As the years have gone, it has become more and more obvious that smoking is just not a healthy habit. In fact, smoking is inherently dangerous and possibly even fatal over time for many individuals. So, it should come as no surprise that as awareness and understanding have bloomed over the years (and especially in recent years), new alternatives have begun to emerge.
One of the most popular alternatives to emerge to date is vaping. Defined as “the action or practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”, vaping is a now-global trend that has taken off from the onset. From Juul to the exceedingly popular SMOK Pod System (and every vaping innovation and product in between and beyond), vaping has been highly beneficial in assisting smokers to move away from the toxic practice of smoking. However, as is the case with most emerging innovations, vaping has not come without its criticisms and controversies.
A great example of said criticisms and controversies is, without a doubt, the rising pool of knowledge and understanding about the potential health risks associated with vaping. In many cases, vaping has been regarded as the “lesser of two evils”. Now, the world is responding to these claims. In India, there has been a ban on electronic cigarettes that has cited and enforced new laws and regulations that are aimed at cutting off companies like Juul’s access to the roughly 100 million smokers that live in the country. India is widely believed to have the second-largest smoking population (second only to China).
In the last few months of 2019, India began to crack down on vaping, announcing a ban on electronic cigarettes, effectively cutting off companies like Juul from continuing expansion in India. In August last year, a draft of the ban was reviewed. Under this ban, fines for vaping itself or even simply purchasing and owning the electronic cigarettes start at 100,000 Rupees (roughly equivalent to $1,310 USD today) or a year in prison if failure to comply with these proposed laws was found to be evident. The cause of this ban is largely because of advancing concerns of a vaping “epidemic” among young people, which obviously is a crucial concern.
While India is not the only nation to ban the utilisation and ownership of vaping products and materials, it is arguably the biggest nation to have done so thus far, reducing health risks to the roughly 100 million smokers throughout the nation that were likely to contribute to the quickly growing global market that sells these products. It is true that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this legal issue in India (and around the globe, for that matter), but just how warranted are these emerging and tightening legal responses? Time will tell.