Bengaluru: Although the government has banned e-cigarettes, conventional cigarettes are still available everywhere harming the smoker’s health, environment and the people around, said activists. The ban will only increase the use of conventional cigarettes which are available and are still harmful, they said.
Mr Madhav Chandravarkar, Public Policy Expert & Research Analyst, said, "If the union and state governments were so concerned about the health of citizens they would have banned or, at least, targeted conventional cigarettes as well.”
Prashantha Sarvanan, an ex-smoker and a fashion photographer, said, “I took a very long time to quit smoking. Millennials are getting addicted more such to habits and the government has taken a brave step.”
Ms Anusha K., an architect, said, “E-cigarettes are meant to be less harmful. But I have seen some of my friends getting addicted to it. My friends use e-cigarettes more often than normal ones. With the ban, e-smokers may come back to conventional cigarettes harming the environment and people around them.”
Anupam Manur, Research Fellow at Takshshila Institution, Bengalur, said, “It seems strange that the government is hastily banning e-cigarettes, which less than 3% of India's population is aware of or use, as opposed to 120 million tobacco users in the country. An ordinance banning the substance will be open to challenge as the government regulates and allows the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are a lot more harmful. It also seems that the government has its priorities misplaced when it made banning of e-cigarettes a part of its 100-day agenda as opposed to health priorities that concern a sizeable mass of the population.”
Dr Srivatsa Lokeshwaran, consultant interventional Pulmonology, Aster CMI Hospital, said, “I think the entire medical fraternity will be for the decision taken by the government. This technology was bought to help wean people away from smoking, but these e-cigarettes apart from nicotine carry 3,000-odd chemicals. This gives a sensation to smokers of smoking a real cigarette. Unfortunately as it was not strictly regulated, the younger population is getting addicted. There are newer medical consequences because of e-cigarettes.”
Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, Pulmonologist, Manipal Hospitals, said, “E-cigarettes do contain nicotine and also contain other harmful substance apart from nicotine. Instances of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and eosinophilic pneumonias are attributed to e-cigarettes. Volatile particulate matter and ultra fine particles may do more harm to the smoker.