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Commerce Ministry bans exports of e-cigarettes, e-hookah

The commerce ministry on Monday said it has banned exports of electronic cigarettes, e-Hookah and other similar devices.

The notification was issued to comply with the government's ordinance issued on September 18 to ban production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes.

"Export of electronic cigarettes including all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices by whatever name called and whatever shape, size or form it may have...is prohibited," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

However, it said the ban does not conclude any product licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

The ordinance issued on September 18 bans e-cigarettes, making the production, import, export, transport, sale or advertisements of such alternative smoking devices a cognizable offence, attracting jail term and fine.

First time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both, according to the ordinance.

The storage of e-cigarettes shall now be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.

Recently, the DGFT, which is under the commerce ministry, had banned import of e-cigarettes.

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