|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Apr 15: The J&K High Court has granted government six weeks more to file response to a petition seeking directions to allow sale and usage of e-cigarettes in the state.
A division bench of the court passed the directions after the additional advocate general submitted that he shall be positively filing the response to the plea within six weeks. "Let the same be so done," the court said and posted the petition on May 24.
The PIL has been filed by one Mushtaq Ahmed Shah, seeking directions to the authorities to allow the use and sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes, if necessary by framing necessary regulations for this purpose.
Shah pleaded for a committee to be constituted to conduct a proper research and analysis of ENDS and thereafter formulate rules and regulations for use and sale of ENDS.
Shah 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.
He 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.
On March 12, the Central Drug Regulator directed all drug controllers in states and Union territories to not allow the manufacture, sale, import and advertisement of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah, in their jurisdictions.
"Since no (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine flavoured hookah, and the like products have not yet been approved under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and rules made thereunder, you are requested to ensure devices that enable nicotine delivery are not sold (including online sale), manufactured, distributed, traded, imported and advertised in your jurisdictions," the regulator's order stated.