India Banned E-cigarettes
India recently banned E-cigarettes. Why do you think this was a decision in the right direction?
Introduction: (up to 30 words) Start by explaining E-cigarettes.
Body: (up to 100 words) Bring about various reasons on why this ban is a right decision and also the harmful effects of vaping.
Conclusion: (up to 30 words) Conclude with points on how this ban, is beneficial to the public at large in terms of health benefits and that prevention is better than cure.
With about 100 million smokers, India has the second-largest smoking population in the world, after China. Amid global reports of deaths and illnesses linked to vaping, India decided to ban e-cigarettes preventatively. They had yet to become popular.
The government recently quoted a WHO report to state that there is sufficient evidence to warn children, adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age against use of e-cigarettes.
- Smoking e-cigarettes is also called vaping.
- E-cigarettes are a type of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which claims to emit nicotine without other harmful chemicals that are present in normal cigarettes.
- They aim to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke, without the smoke and are sold as aids to reduce or quit smoking.
- They produce an aerosol by heating a fluid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals which is then inhaled by users of e-cigarettes.
Some serious concerns regarding their use have been highlighted by WHO:
- Vaping can get teens addicted to nicotine and they can go on to use other tobacco products.
- Nicotine is considered to promote cardiovascular diseases and may also affect the brain development in foetus.
- No convincing evidence proving that e-cigarettes help quit smoking. o Smoking e-cigarettes delivers cancer-causing chemicals into the body such as formaldehyde.
- It may function as a “tumour promoter” and seems to be involved in the neuro-degeneration.
- May also contribute to cardiovascular disease.
- Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.
It is because of above concerns that worldwide a need is being felt to regulate the e-cigarettes just as traditional tobacco products are regulated.
- WHO Global Report says that number of smokers in India is on the decline.
- As e-cigarettes contain nicotine and not tobacco, these do not fall within the ambit of the COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) Act 2003.
- Most e-commerce websites sell e-cigarettes as therapeutic products thus increasing appeal.
- A committee in 2014 recommended to ban e-cigarettes having nicotine. Only few states banned it.
- Lack of a uniform approach enables the sellers to exploit loopholes. E.g. Punjab has classified nicotine as a poison, while Maharashtra treats it as an unapproved drug.
|Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act 2003:
Section 5 of the Act prohibits all forms of advertisements (both direct and indirect) of tobacco products.
This Act mandates health warnings on the packaging and advertisements of tobacco products.
WHO Report on the Regulation on ENDS (Electronic nicotine delivery systems) recommends to: