New Delhi: E-cigarettes (electronic nicotine delivery systems-ENDS), the new fad among tobacco users, are all set to be banned in India. Recognising its adverse effects on health, the Union health ministry has decided to ban these “nicotine inhalers” through proper legislation soon.
During a recent meeting attended by cientists, health experts, customs officials and the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), it was decided to put a restriction on these “battery operated products” that are designed to deliver nicotine.
An e-cigarette is also known as an e-vaping device, a personal vaporiser that contains a heating element which vaporises liquid nicotine or a flavoured liquid. The e-liquids used in e-cigarettes are available in different flavours like pink bubble gum, menthol, peach, watermelon.
The e-cigarettes are unlicensed product that made its way to India illegally recently and now even the Indian tobacco manufacturers have forayed into its manufacturing to offset shrinking sales of conventional cigarettes due to their increase in prices.
Keeping in view its adverse affects on the health, last year, India along with other countries of southeast Asian region vowed to impose a ban during a regional workshop for Southeast Asia on implementation of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control.
Significantly, the decision to ban E-cigarettes was initiated by India. A year after, the health ministry has finally decided to ban the electronic cigarettes which has become the fashion statement among young tobacco users.
Experts say it has been marketed as a product that could help stub the habit of smoking. “However, not many people know that it has a potential of killing as inhaling nicotine could be dangerous. It is also very harmful for the passive smokers.
So it has been decided to completely ban this menace by bringing strong legislation,” a senior official and spokesperson of FCTC secretariat told Deccan Chronicle.
During the meeting, health experts strongly discouraged the proliferation of the use of e-cigarettes that are widely sold online. “Appropriate legislative and regulatory measures to prevent the use of c-cigarettes are necessary. They are imported, unlicensed products, widely sold online. The sales of e-cigarettes are growing fast. A robust system will therefore be soon put in place to see that they are not entering in the country,” added the health ministry official.