Advertise with

Indian government imposes nationwide ban on electronic cigarettes.
Indian government imposes nationwide ban on electronic cigarettes.

Flipkart and Amazon pull listings for vaping products


By Aditya Kalra - Sep 22nd, 13:02, Walmart-owned Flipkart and other e-commerce portals in India scrambled to remove listings of vaping products a day after the federal government imposed a nationwide ban on electronic cigarettes.

Warning of an “epidemic” among young people, India banned sale, production, import and advertising of e-cigarettes, dealing a blow to plans of companies such as Philip Morris International and Juul Labs to sell the products in India.

Websites such as Vapestop and Litejoy, which offered vaping products online, discontinued their operations and ran disclaimers related to the government order.

Vaping products, however, were still available on Amazon’s India site, while Flipkart and Softbank-backed Snapdeal removed e-cigarettes which were available earlier in the day.

“Online advertising and sales are banned. E-commerce service providers should take down the advertisements and sale offers immediately,” Vikas Sheel, a senior health ministry official, said when asked about the online listings.

Amazon’s India site was selling the “Honey Badger” vape device, which resembles a USB flash drive, for $39.35, with flavoured refills. Flipkart had also listed the product earlier.

Amazon said e-cigarettes are not allowed to be listed or sold on as per its policy and it takes action if it learns about sellers evasively listing a prohibited product.

A source with direct knowledge said that Amazon was working to quickly remove the listings.

Flipkart said it was aware of the ban order and was working with sellers to remove all such products. Snapdeal, another leading e-commerce website in India, said the e-cigarette category had been disabled.

India’s health ministry said use of e-cigarettes had increased exponentially and acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.

India’s ban was issued through an executive order, which has been in force since Wednesday night, a health ministry spokesperson said.

Pro-vaping groups in India have criticised the government’s decision, saying it would deter people from switching from conventional cigarettes to less harmful alternatives.Business Live 

Read more about: flipkart | ecommerce | e-cigarettes | amazon

Related News

Takealot Group anticipates biggest Black Friday yet
22/11/2019 - 11:00
South Africa’s leading e-commerce group expects to ship at least one order every second, with roughly 10 000 boxes leaving their warehouses every hour this shopping season.

Chinese spending hits record high on Singles' Day
13/11/2019 - 13:53
Chinese consumers spent a record amount on Alibaba platforms on Monday during the annual “Singles’ Day” buying spree, the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping event, which was launched with a glitzy show by US singer Taylor Swift.

Online shoppers “spring clean” first week of Pick n Pay’s Black November deals
12/11/2019 - 09:08
Pick n Pay launched its weekly Black November deals for its Gauteng and Western Cape online shoppers last Monday and customers wasted no time in reviewing and securing their favourite deals.

How to keep customers and make sales this Black Friday
11/11/2019 - 12:44
Five years ago, Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn’t even exist in South Africa. Today, they’re a major cash cow for local retailers. On Black Friday last year, consumers spent a record R2.9 billion, and that number is expected to jump 30% this year, with e-commerce playing a major part in that growth.

Pick n Pay launches exclusive online Black November deals
04/11/2019 - 13:04
Pick n Pay has launched weekly exclusive Black November ‘teaser’ deals for its online customers across Gauteng and the Western Cape in the lead up to Black Friday on 29 November.