Tobacco Ban Current Affairs - 2019
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Tamil Nadu Government has issued order banning manufacture, sale and possession of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or e-Cigarettes with immediate effect in the state. The ban covers distribution, trade, display, marketing, advertisement, use, import and possession of e-cigarettes as well. So far, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar already have prohibited manufacture, import, sale and distribution of ENDs or e-cigarettes. The Tamil Nadu government has already banned chewable tobacco products.
ENDS are devices that heat solution to create aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycolor and glycerin. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are most common prototype of ENDS. These devices do not burn or use toacco leaves but instead vaporise solution, which user then inhales (This process is called as vaping). The main constituents of vaporise solution are nicotine, propylene glycol (with or without glycerol and flavouring agents).
Health risk associated with ENDS
Children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age are at greater health risk due to use of ENDS including e-cigarettes. ENDS solutions and emissions contain harmful chemicals and toxicants. They contain nicotine, addictive component of tobacco products. In addition they also contain harmful 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.
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs. In this regard, it has made amendments in Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008. The amended rules will be applicable w.e.f. 1st September 2018.
Union Health Ministry maintains pictorial health warnings on packs of tobacco products are most cost-effective tool for educating people on the health risks of tobacco use. The warning on all packs of tobacco products have tobacco causes cancer and tobacco causes painful death written in white on red background accompanied with quitline number. Study conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) had found that about 46% of illiterate men smoke, whereas only 16% of college graduates are hooked to tobacco.
Features of new rules
Under it, Government has released two separate set of images. The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1, 2018 for period of 1 year, whereas second set of images will be used from September 1, 2019. Besides, images quit line number is also pertinent feature of new warning. It mandates packaging to display “Quit Today Call” number which is online on-call assistance facility launched for those people seeking support to quit use of tobacco products.
The new rules also mandates all people engaged directly or indirectly in production, supply, import or distribution of cigarettes or any tobacco products to ensure that all tobacco product packages have the specified health warnings exactly as prescribed. Violation of above provision will be punishable offence with imprisonment or fine as prescribed in Section 20 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.