Ban Approved

India’s upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, on Dec. 2 approved a bill to prohibit the production, trade, transport, storage and advertisement of electronic cigarettes in the country, reportsĀ India Today.

The new law, which passed Parliament’s lower house earlier this month, replaces an ordinance issued by the government in September.

First-time violators face fines of up to INR100,000 ($1,393) and imprisonment of up to one year. Subsequent offenses are punishable with fines up to INR500,000 and imprisonment of up to three years.

During the debate on the bill, some lawmakers expressed concern that the government had brought the legislation under pressure from the tobacco industry and demanded the ban be extended to raw tobacco and conventional cigarettes.

“We have done it with very pious intention. There is no vested interest,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha.