With time things seem to be moving for the condition of the e-cigarette industry in India. Recently, the Indian Ministry of Commerce has stated that there is no legal basis for banning imports of e-cigarettes.
Not everyone agrees but the debate seems well launched in India. Not long ago, the Indian Ministry of Commerce said it could not ban e-cigarette imports because there is no legal basis for doing so. In any case, this is what an internal memo from the government Reuters could consult.
The move comes as the country's Ministry of Health has repeatedly called on the government to stop sales and imports of e-cigarettes, warning that vaping devices are a "big health risk."
The country has 106 million adult smokers, just behind China, making it a lucrative market for companies such as Juul Labs et Philip Morris International, based in the United States, who plan to launch their devices in the country.
An Indian group with one of the Domino's Pizza and Dunkin 'Donuts franchisees in the country is already considering importing the Juul e-cigarette. A memorandum states that the country must first prohibit local sales through a federal regulation that " can withstand the scrutiny of the law".
Once this is done, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) may eventually announce an "import ban" says the memo.
At present, the "council" of the Ministry of Health is not in a position to form a legal basis for a ban, said the Ministry of Commerce, which has the power to impose import bans, . The note has not been made public yet.
An official from the Ministry of Health nevertheless said that the ministry would work with the DGFT to explore ways to impose a ban.