In its endeavor to save the youth and children from addiction of any kind Cyber Crime wing of Punjab Police on the directions of the Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh Baal, the Health department Punjab has issued notices to various e-commerce portals for allegedly violating the Drugs and Cosmetics Act by selling e-cigarettes.
Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani said that DGP Punjab was asked to take action against the sale of e-cigarettes on e-commerce portals. He elaborated that earlier State Tobacco Control Cell; Punjab also issued awareness notices to E-Commerce sites that were violating the Drugs & Cosmetics Act with impunity by openly selling unapproved drugs like E- Cigarettes. He added that an advisory was also issued by Government of Punjab to make people aware about the ill effects of E-Cigarettes.
Punjab is the only state where implementation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act/ Food Safety & Standard Act of India and COTPA is being monitored monthly in the State by Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare and and at District Level by the Deputy Commissioners. Action of Punjab Govt. against E-Cigarettes has been recognized at International/National Level.
Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare Punjab said that Punjab was the first state where e-cigarettes have been declared as "unapproved drug" by State Drug Controller since 2013. She said that it becomes significant to prohibit these internet sites from selling E- Cigarettes. E-cigarettes are Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) devices containing nicotine in chemical form which is highly addictive and lethal. Under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Nicotine is allowed to be manufactured only as Nicotine Gum/Lozenges, 2mg and 4mg. Every other product which contains nicotine is unapproved. This is important as minors and youths are buying these addictive and potentially lethal products.
Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Hussan Lal said that the court cases have been initiated in Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and SAS Nagar districts against vendors selling e-cigarettes. The cases have been registered under various sections of Drugs and Cosmetics Act as nicotine was tested positive in all the cases. One violator in SAS Nagar has been sentenced to three years jail with fine of one lakh rupees. It is first of its kind conviction in the country.