Petition in Delhi HC challenges ban to transport of e-cigarettes and vapes at Indian airports


NEW DELHI: In the case of Sutirtha Dutta v. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the petitioner has filed a petition in the High Court, challenging the decision made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to ban the transport of e-cigarettes and vapes at Indian airports.

The Bench headed by Justice Yashwant Varma granted time to the Central government to produce the relevant material on this issue, before the Court.

The order issued on January 10, 2020, issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, banned the transport of e-cigarettes at Indian airports and aircraft, citing the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act passed by the parliament on December 5, in the year 2019.

In the petition, it is said that this decision was taken without any rhyme or reason, and lacked consideration of the provisions of the Act, which allows for the personal use of electronic cigarettes, as per various clarifications given by authorities and the concerned ministry respectively.

Further, the petition said that this action was an abuse of power that has led to the confiscation of vaping devices from travelers passing through Metropolitan Cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Goa, Bhavnagar, and other airports.

During an argument, the petitioner said that he was a smoker, who with the aid of e-cigarettes, had quit smoking. He added, globally less harmful than normal cigarettes.

The plea said, – “It is submitted that applicant/ petitioner is a former smoker, who, by the aid of E-cigarettes, has quit smoking combustible cigarettes and since, the Applicant / Petitioner, by virtue of the impugned Addendum, cannot carry his E-cigarettes whilst traveling by aircraft, leading to a situation of smoking relapse,” 

Further, it said, that studies and research revealed that relapsing to combustible cigarettes is a very common phenomenon for persons who have quit smoking.

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