According to the British "Daily Mail" website, the ministry proposed that the government issue an executive order that prohibits devices that harm public interest before electronic cigarettes become a "pandemic" between children and young people.
"Electronic cigarettes and similar technologies that encourage tobacco use or adversely affect public health pose an active and passive risk to the user," the health ministry said in an internal statement seen by Reuters and which should be studied by the federal government.
Health officials are proposing up to three years of imprisonment, with a maximum of 500,000 rupees ($ 7,000), for electronic cigarette smokers, according to the executive order project.
Such orders are generally issued in India as an emergency measure when parliament does not hold its session, which could expire if it were not approved when legislators meet in the next session, which will probably be held around November.
It was not immediately clear whether the draft executive decree would have to change or would have been adopted.
"There is evidence that these products are a gateway to tobacco products and motivate teenagers and young people to use nicotine, which is addictive," the health ministry said in the document.
India has 106 million adult smokers, second only to China in the world, which makes it a profitable market for companies like Joel and Philip Morris and over 900,000 people die each year in the country due to tobacco-related diseases.
Electronic cigarettes (t) India (t) Prison (t) End (t) Misc