NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Punjab probably became the first state in the country that has initiated criminal proceedings against those who are selling e-cigarettes (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System). It may be recalled that Punjab was the first state to declare e-cigarettes as illegal under The Drugs and Cosmetics act.
Cracking the whip and sending a direct message across the state, district administration of three districts namely Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and SAS Nagar Mohali booked four vendors for selling e- cigarettes and Nicotine in chemical form for violating the directive of the government regarding e-cigarettes.
Disclosing this here today, commissioner FDA and Secretary Health and Family Welfare Mr. Hussan Lal, said that as many as 20 districts of the state have already been declared as tobacco smoke free in Punjab. Giving details, he said that cases were registered against two vendors in Ludhiana and one each in SAS Nagar Mohali and Hoshiarpur. The cases have been registered under various sections of Drugs and Cosmetics Act. as nicotine was tested positive in all these cases.
Mr. Ajay Singla, State Drug Controller, Punjab said that E-Cigarettes are Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) devices which contain Nicotine in chemical form which was highly lethal and addictive chemical. Under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Nicotine was allowed to be manufactured only as Nicotine Gums/Lozenges 2mg & 4mg. Every other product which contained Nicotine was illegal, he added.
Dr. Rakesh Gupta, State Programme Officer, State Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab added that Punjab was the only state where implementation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act/ Food Safety & Standard Act of India and COTPA was being monitored monthly at State level by Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare and at District Level by Deputy Commissioners. Action taken by Punjab Government against E-Cigarettes has been lauded at International and National Levels, he added.