E-cigarette ban comes after sustained effort

Gehlot govt. locates ‘missing’ file, takes action

Updated - July 27, 2019 05:02 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2019 01:16 am IST - JAIPUR

The ban on e-cigarettes, imposed in Rajasthan a day before World No Tobacco Day last month, has come after a sustained campaign by voluntary groups spanning several months and recovery of a “missing file” with original note-sheets and documents following the change of government in the State Assembly election.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the decision to ban production, distribution, advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes on May 30. He said the Congress had promised to take steps to curb smoking and addiction among the youth in its election manifesto and the decision would prove to be effective.

The previous BJP government had appointed a committee of experts to study the effects of e-cigarette and make its recommendations in September 2017.

Though the committee recommended an immediate ban, no concrete action was taken and the file with original papers went missing from the office of the Additional Chief Secretary, Medical & Health Department.

The committee, headed by medical expert Nalin Joshi, had found that the nicotine-laced and heat-not-burn devices were “extremely harmful” recommended a ban on e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, voluntary groups kept appealing to the government to ban e-cigarettes. When the Congress government took over in December 2018, representatives of Vaagdhara group met Mr. Gehlot and took up the case of the “missing file”.

Vaagdhara secretary Jayesh Joshi told The Hindu that the file was located and its movement within the bureaucratic framework was accelerated.

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