Government asks States to ban e-cigarettes

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued advisory to all states and Union Territories to not allow manufacture, sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). It also has issued warning that use e-cigarettes and other ENDS devices pose great health risk to public at large, especially to children and pregnant women. Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar already have prohibited manufacture, import, sale and distribution of e-cigarettes and ENDS.

e-cigarettes and ENDS

ENDS are devices that heat solution to create aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycolor and glycerin. e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are most common prototype of ENDS. These devices do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise solution, which user then inhales. The main constituents of solution are nicotine, propylene glycol (with or without glycerol and flavouring agents).

Health Ministry Advisory

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) report on Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, 30 countries like Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE have already banned ENDS.

ENDS including e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape, etc. are great health risk to public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age. ENDS are not approved as NRTs (nicotine-replacement therapies) under Drugs and Cosmetics Act and rules made thereunder.

ENDS solutions and emissions contain other chemicals, some of them considered to be toxicants. They contain nicotine, addictive component of tobacco products. In addition they contain metals, including lead, chromium and nickel and chemicals like formaldehyde with concentrations equal to or greater than traditional cigarettes.

Use of ENDS may affect development of foetus during pregnancy. It may contribute to cardiovascular disease to people who use ENDS. Moreover, nicotine may function as ‘tumour promoter’ and seems to be involved in biology of malignant diseases. Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

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