An unfortunate trend to the radical regulation of e-cigarettes progressed further today as Reuters reports that the Indian government is considering a total on the products. We have written recently on the WHO’s flawed policy stance on e-cigarettes, which fed into a policy position from the 6th Conference of the Parties to the FCTC in Moscow in mid-October, leaving open the option of bans for the products. It is in this prohibitionist context that the proposed measures in India need to be viewed.
While smoking prevalence in India, because of the pervasive use of smokeless tobacco products is relatively low at 6.5%, the sheer size of the population means that there are 52 Indian million smokers, the 3rd largest global smoking population behind China and Indonesia. In total there are some 275 million tobacco consumers in India and the Indian government has been proactively seeking to control all forms of tobacco consumption in the country.