The ban was approved by the Cabinet. The government is expected to issue an ordinance soon prohibiting the manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes.
"Its use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children," a government statement said. The first offense will be punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 rupees ($1,390), or both. For a subsequent offense, the punishment will be imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to 500,000 rupees ($6,945).
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that e-cigarettes were promoted as a way to get people out of their smoking habits but reports have shown that many are becoming addicted to them.