INTERNATIONAL - India became the latest country to ban electronic cigarettes as concern grows worldwide over health risks associated with the smokeless nicotine devices popular with teenagers.
The Indian government will ban the production and sales of e-cigarettes, it announced after a cabinet meeting Wednesday.
Originally touted as a safer alternative to wean people off cigarettes, the e-cigarettes have come under widespread attack in America, especially for its appeal among young people. India’s decision shows that the industry is coming under scrutiny in other countries too, after the recent outbreak of a mysterious lung disease linked to vaping that has killed six people in the U.S. and afflicted hundreds of others.
E-cigarettes allow users to satisfy their cravings by inhaling vaporized nicotine rather than tobacco smoke. Their popularity has soared in recent years driven by candy-like flavorings, sleek devices and savvy marketing. The U.S. Surgeon General called it an “epidemic,” after the government found as many as 5 million American kids said they’ve vaped this year.