COIMBATORE: Having already imposed a ban in eight states in the country, the Union Health ministry is considering a pan-India ban on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and related products. In the backdrop of this, reactions to the move pour in from various quarters. Medical experts, primarily oncologists echo the opinion that the government must necessarily impose a blanket ban on cigarettes instead of banning ‘ENDS’, e-cigarettes and related products.
Of the various ENDS products, e-cigarettes are most popular as they are widely used by a cross-section of the population including minors. An oncologist from a city-based multi-specialty hospital said, “as the name suggests, they are battery-operated devices that user can hold in the hand and are regarded as alternatives to smoking traditional cigarettes. While some state that vaping can prove to be an important alternative to traditional cigarette smoking, there is enough study to prove otherwise. This brings us to one conclusion; why cannot the government impose a ban on smoking cigarettes in total? Several lives will be saved and incidence of cancer will automatically come down in the country.” he said.
Also supporting the blanked ban on cigarettes instead of taking ENDS and related products off the market is Samrat Chowdhery spokesperson of Association of Vapers, India, who said, “scientific research substantiates that vaping can prove to be an important tool in smoking cessation. Furthermore, there are enough studies, research and analysis to suggest that vaping, in comparison to tobacco cigarettes and other tobacco products are less harmful and contain far lesser toxins and thereby cause a reduced level of harm.” he said, “On behalf of a vaping body that represents more than 4,000 vapers, the question that AVI is raising is why aren't cigarettes banned instead?” he mused.
According to business intelligence company Euromonitor, the global market for vaping products has grown exponentially at 818 per cent between 2011 and 2016.
Though the regulations are slowing its growth, and yet, it is projected to grow at 176 per cent between 2016 and 2021.
Speaking to DC a city-based NRI Amit (name changed) said, “vaping is considered as a healthier alternative and people are using it to wean off their addiction.
From the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to the American Cancer Society (ACS) to the British Medical Association (BMA), all have held the use of e-cigarette as an alternative to the hazardous tobacco cigarettes. The FDA continues to regulate e-cigarettes rather ban it. The US health regulator has found e-cigarette comparatively less harmful because unlike traditional cigarettes, as they don’t release tar and other toxic chemicals, which are the real cause of tobacco-related deaths.” A chain smoker, since his teens, Amit switched to e- cigarettes and is comfortable. According to him, the real killer is not nicotine but tobacco.
“I was gifted an imported e- cigarette for my birthday when I turned major. News that the government is all set to ban ENDS and related products on directions of the High Court comes as a rude shock. If the ban comes into being, people who are already dependent on the products will somehow find their way to access and use them. If the aim is to bring down tobacco consumption, the government must seriously consider imposing a ban on smoking on the whole.” Rakesh Sharma a resident of the textile city said....