On September 29th, India ministry of finance announced that they would announce a total ban on electronic cigarettes, including production, manufacturing, import and export, transportation, sale, storage and advertising, as the United States electronic cigarette death cases continued to emerge.
However, early this morning, we received relevant information from the advocaters, saying that in addition to the Ministry of finance, the government also supported the ban on electronic cigarettes because the local government believed that the supporters of electronic cigarettes had no incentive to protest, so they did not intend to withdraw the idea of prohibiting electronic cigarettes for the time being.
After receiving the news, we made inquire about the news of the electronic cigarette shop, but local businessmen said it was not clear at the time of the government ban. Only an official disclosed to him yesterday that the government had no plan to cancel the ban on electronic cigarettes because the protest activities of the vapers were lacking in support.
This has affected the nationwide electronic cigarette users, as well as the sales plan of Juul Labs and PMI, and the government may face the litigation challenge of the tobacco giant.
According to reports, protesters yesterday called for the regulation of electronic cigarette rather than prohibition. But the organizers of the India electronic cigarette association said that only about 400 people were present in six cities, and some opponents of the ban were worried about being targeted by the police.
In the protests in the capital New Delhi, several users used electronic cigarettes. Among them sat a child, which read, “I don’t want my father to smoke”.
While the government believes that the ban is essential to protect people, because atomization can lead to nicotine addiction and may encourage users to use cigarettes, the protestors say the devices can actually help them stay away from more harmful traditional tobacco products.
The government estimates that 900 thousand people die each year from tobacco related diseases. More than 100 million adult smokers, second only to China, are a lucrative potential market for companies selling tobacco and vape products.
A India Ministry of health official said that despite protests and court challenges, the government remained resolutely abiding by the ban. “There is no room to discuss the lifting of the ban.”
In the eastern cities, the court is also facing crucial challenges, including whether it can continue to enforce the ban. A document issued by Plume Vapour, a local electronic cigarette importer, shows that if the government persists in implementing the ban, the ban will flourish tobacco industry, while electronic cigarette related enterprises will be closed down.
In an interview with Reuters, 25 year old New Delhi protestor Aryaman Chaudhary said he had stored a lot of carts and e-liquid before the ban was issued, but it would eventually run out. “I just hope that e-cigarettes are regulated products, not banned.”
On the other hand, we reported a few days ago that the government owns nearly 1/3 of the country’s large size tobacco companies, and the government basically owns all the local tobacco stocks. After the exposure of the Minister of finance, the ITC shares held by the government rose to 1800 rupees, which indirectly confirmed that the strike against the electronic cigarette industry would help.
As far as the current situation is concerned, the electronic cigarette market is not optimistic, and the local electronic cigarette enterprises may have to face a more severe and long-term struggle. As for the relevant enterprises that focus on the development of the India market, whether the ban will be introduced in the near future, we suggest related companies to get ready to avoid the impact on foreign trade caused by India policy.