Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday asked state government to file response to a petition seeking to allow sale and usage of e-cigarettes in the state.
A petition was moved by one Mushtaq Ahmed Shah pleading that authorities be directed to allow the use and sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes, if necessary by framing necessary regulations for this purpose.
He pleaded for a committee to be constituted with expert panel to conduct a proper research and analysis of ENDS and thereafter formulate rules and regulations for use and sale of ENDS.
The petitioner states that the conventional cigarette smoking can easily be eradicated by making use of e-cigarettes which has less harmful effects as compared to tobacco products.
The petitioner further states that to enable cigarette smokers like him to switch over to safer methods of nicotine consumption, with overall objective of achieving de-addiction, the usage of e-cigarettes is seen a first step. The petitioner pleads that it is his sole aim to spread awareness amongst the smokers with regards to alternatives to the use of conventional smoking.
The petition pointed out that on 24 July, 2017 and 10 May 2018 authorities issued orders barring the sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, import and advertisement of ENDS contending that it contains chemicals like nicotine with propylene glycol as main ingredients and have adverse effect on the public health. The ban order states that nicotine has addictive nature and is poisonous to human health. Further, the order states that nicotine in food products is banned under the Food Safety Act, 2006. Lastly the circular says that ENDS are being sold illegally including the online sale without obtaining valid license from appropriate authority specified by law.
The petitioner stated that government has not specified under which provision of law, the order of banning ENDS was issued and pleaded that circular passed by the government be overturned.