Indian Police Crack Down on Illegal E-Cigarette Sales

Indian Police Crack Down on Illegal E-Cigarette Sales
Police crackdown on illegal sale of e-cigarettes in Pune, India, seizing ₹1.05 crore worth of products.

The police in the city of Pune, India, conducted a crackdown on shops selling electronic cigarettes after obtaining specific information about their sales from local law enforcement agencies.

The Crime Branch Unit 2 of Pune City Police conducted a surprise raid on Saturday and seized products worth Rs. 1.052 million (approximately RMB 86,000) from nine shops near educational institutions in the city. This was a part of the police operation that targeted the illegal sale of electronic cigarettes, other vaping devices, their accessories, banned cigarette brands, and the sale of such items around schools and colleges.

According to specific information, the police have carried out a crackdown on shops located very close to prestigious schools and institutions in the areas covered by the Bharti Vidyapeeth, Koregaon Park, and Lashkar police stations in the city.

In addition, all of these establishments offer snacks, drinks, everyday items, and more. However, during a surprise inspection, our team discovered concealed drawers or compartments in these shops where the owners kept electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices, refill liquids, cigarette and cigar brands that were banned due to their high levels of harmful substances and related product content," said inspector Krantikumar Patil.

According to authorities, throughout the investigation process, it was discovered that the majority of buyers of these products were boys and girls from schools and universities, as well as other young people from the community.

Nine store owners of these shops were arrested in accordance with the 2019 ban on electronic cigarettes (production, manufacturing, import, export, transportation, sales, distribution, storage, and advertising) and the 2003 law on trade and commerce, production, supply, and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products (prohibiting advertising and regulation).

They have been notified in accordance with these acts and have been ordered to appear in the respective courts.

According to police authorities, the crackdown will continue over the next few days. They have recently taken action against clubs, bars, and lounges in the city illegally selling prohibited hookahs to consumers.

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