Indian government approves ban on e-cigarettes

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's government has decided to ban e-cigarettes, expressing concern at the alarming rate at which vaping is becoming popular among the country's youth and causing breathing illnesses.

The ban was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday. The government is expected to issue an ordinance soon prohibiting the manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a Tweet that possession of e-cigarettes or similar devices will be punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine of 50,000 rupees ($700) or both.

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.