March 23, 2020
The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has written to the UK Government about a situation in India. The country that receives over three quarters of a million UK visitors every year has taken to confiscating legal vaping equipment. Despite a ban on the sale of vape equipment, the act of vaping remains legal – but Indian officials are not following the legislation.
The NNA is a registered UK charity staffed by consumer volunteers, formed to increase understanding about the benefits of “new” risk-reduced nicotine products and a better recognition of long-term recreational use of nicotine as a powerful incentive for smoking cessation. It has noted:
The Indian government has passed a law banning e-cigarettes, but it excludes personal consumption. The Indian Civil Aviation Ministry has misunderstood the law and is seizing and destroying the property of unsuspecting UK visitors.
Thousands of UK citizens potentially affected; the NNA has asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to update travel advice. The NNA states: “UK visitors to India who use e-cigarettes to improve their health on the advice of British health organisations are having their devices confiscated at airports.”
The NNA says it has become aware of five travellers who have suffered hard-line and unsanctioned action, but those affected could stretch to tens of thousands more UK citizens who have chosen vaping as a way of stopping smoking.