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The ban on e-cigarettes

➢ The Union Cabinet had approved an ordinance banning production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes.
➢ Once the ban comes into force, consumption, production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes would become illegal in India.

e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes are the most common form of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). These are basically devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves. Instead, they vaporise a solution using a battery. This vapour which mimics tobacco smoking is then inhaled by the user.

➢ It works by heating up a nicotine liquid, called “juice.”

➢ Nicotine juice (or e-juice) comes in various flavors and nicotine levels.

➢ e-liquid is composed of five ingredients: vegetable glycerin (a material used in all types of food and personal care products, like toothpaste) and propylene glycol (a solvent most commonly used in fog machines.)

➢ propylene glycol is the ingredient that produces thicker clouds of vapor.

➢ E-cigarettes, do not burn tobacco leaves. Instead these battery-operated devices produce aerosol by heating a solution containing among other things, nicotine.

➢ Proponents of e-cigs argue that the practice is healthier than traditional cigarettes because users are only inhaling water vapor and nicotine.

Ban—need of the hour

This decision is a follow up of a 2018 advisory that the central government had sent to all state governments asking them to consider banning ecigarettes. Prior to this announcement, 15 states and one Union territory had already banned e-cigarettes. These include: Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Odisha and
Nagaland.

➢ The Centre claims the decision to ban e-cigarettes was taken as they were a health risk to the youth.

➢ Seven deaths have been recorded in the U.S. — the largest consumer of e-cigarettes in the world — where, New York recently banned the sale of flavoured ecigarettes.

➢ the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and possibly cardiovascular disease and other
diseases also associated with smoking.

➢ some compounds in the aerosol are toxic substances that have known deleterious effects, and might just be less
harmful than cigarettes, not harmless.

WHO’s Stand

WHO says, "It can have adverse effects during pregnancy and may contribute to cardiovascular disease."

"Although nicotine itself is not a carcinogen, it may function as a tumour promoter. Nicotine seems involved in fundamental aspects of the biology of malignant diseases, as well as of neurodegeneration."

➢ WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) outlines, these devices can only be believed to succeed if smokers have moved on to an alternative nicotine source, and then stopped using that too

➢ There is evidence now that vaping, dangled as a cool, fun, activity, lures youngsters, and ironically, serves to introduce them to smoking

➢The Centre’s move to ban these products shows a welcome intolerance of anything that impacts negatively on the health and wellness of the people of the country

➢ The government, already on the right path, must go all out to ensure that its ban is implemented earnestly in letter and spirit, unlike the patchy execution of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

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