New Delhi: An NGO, National Health Forum, working for tobacco control, lauded the Union Health Ministry’s decision to end manufacture, distribution, import and sale of e-cigarettes and requested the Centre to extend its support to ban such products.
Mandakini Sinh (Managing trustee) of National Health Forum talked about how the Ministry of Health, WHO (World Health Organisation) and domestic NGOs have zealously worked over the past decades to make sure that cigarettes and other tobacco products are manufactured in reasonable and limited quantities and to that effect it is a licensed product with licensed capacities. She believes that easing these norms would transcend into a deluge of these tobacco products which are pernicious to health.
The Health Ministry, after reflecting upon this and consulting various NGOs regarding the same issued an advisory for states to ban e-cigarettes, e-vapes, and e-hookah, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and such similar products. Over a dozen states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Gujrat, and Rajasthan have already banned these products.
About 30 countries in the world, including many states of the US, have also banned the production, import, and sale of e-cigarettes, which is putting regulatory pressure on these products in their home markets, thereby compelling the importers of e-cigarettes to target developing economies like India. The claims made by the manufacturers of E-cigarettes that they are reduced harm alternatives aren’t scientifically proven by independent studies.
According to Mandakini Sinh, e-cigarettes are used as a gateway of product to lure the youth by the international conventional tobacco products manufacturers.
Sinh reflected upon the idea that young teenagers are introduced to E-cigarettes and then they graduate them to more conventional tobacco products. Studies conducted by the WHO and several independent scientific bodies made it clear that e-cigarettes can have adverse health effects like pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.The idea that E-cigarettes are safe or reduced harm alternatives is falsely spread to swing the minds of the gullible youth of our country to turn them into smokers from non-smokers.