Just over a week after India’s government enacted a ban on the sale, import and manufacture of electronic cigarettes, it is facing its first legal challenges.
Two separate challenges were filed to the high court in Kolkata – by e-cigarette importer Plume Vapour and another company named Woke Vapors – according to court listing records publicly available online.
“This (ban) raises several important questions of constitutional law and is mindless, arbitrary and excessive,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, one of India’s most prominent lawyers, who is representing Plume Vapour.
A senior health ministry official in New Delhi said the government had been notified of the cases, which were heard by the court on Thursday and will be picked up on Monday.
“We are confident of defending our decision,” the official added, and further details about the challenges were not immediately available.
More than 900,000 people die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses in India, home to about 1.3 billion people.
The vaping crisis in the United States keeps getting worse, and on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the death toll from vaping-related breathing illnesses has risen to 13, while there are now 805 confirmed and probable cases.