A ban on electronic cigarettes that use batteries in the US will be extended to India after the Supreme Court in New York this week upheld a federal court ruling that bans the products.
The ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit followed a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of India in August to strike down a ban on e-cigarettes in the country, which was struck down by the Delhi High Court.
In the court’s ruling, the US appeals court noted that electronic cigarettes are not considered “vaping devices” under the United States Food and Drug Administration regulations.
However, the court noted it “remains concerned that the Indian government may continue to permit these devices and therefore, may continue the unnecessary regulatory burdens and costs of compliance”.
It also noted that “the Indian government has not demonstrated that it has demonstrated the ability to regulate and control e-cigarette sales, and, therefore, the Court continues to hold that the restrictions imposed by the Indian authorities are an unjustified and discriminatory restriction on the right to use and enjoy e-cigs.”
Indian health authorities are yet to announce any specific date for the suspension of the ban.
The ban was struck in the context of efforts to combat tobacco-related diseases in India, where smoking rates have fallen dramatically over the past few years.
The e-cig ban is not a new one in India.
A similar ban was also struck down in June by the United Nations.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Courts in New Jersey and New York upheld the dismissal of an appeal against the decision of a state court in New Hampshire that banned the sale of e-liquids containing nicotine in bars and restaurants.