Nothing short of unconventional. The ordinance that banned the import, manufacture and sale of nicotine-based e-cigarettes and vapes on 18 September 2019 in India, created allies no one saw coming. Aside from India’s health ministry and doctors, other ministries, tobacco farmers, and even cigarette manufacturers, were happy to call for a countrywide ban.

A 31-member committee formed under the tobacco control division—with about 20 doctors, lawyers and public health workers, which has met several times in the past 2-3 years—had made a unanimous decision.

This was a first. So far, all of the health ministry’s attempts at controlling tobacco had—under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) treaty—faced much resistance.