Ban manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes: National Health

Guwahati, Sep 10 (PTI): As the government deliberates the details of a draft ordinance to curb the usage of e- cigarettes, two organisations on Tuesday sought a complete ban on the manufacture and sale of these products.
The two organisations – National Health Forum and Shram – said the banning of alternative smoking devices such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookah will be a “landmark decision” with positive effect for reduction of respiratory diseases.
In a letter written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Shram’s Mukul Bajpai lauded the government’s plan to ban the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) including e-cigarettes.
“Studies and our own experience in this field strongly suggest that vaping acts as a stepping-stone for teenagers to start conventional smoking as they are lured by strawberry and mango flavours.
“Unlike combustible form of cigarettes, concentration of the nicotine can be increased many-fold in ENDS,” Bajpai said in the letter.
He pointed out that India is a signatory to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which has called to ban ENDS.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in May this year also backed the complete ban on alternative smoking devices, the letter claimed.
The Centre last month came up with a draft ordinance seeking to ban the production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and proposing jail term of one year for violators.
The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance 2019 has been sent to a group of ministers.
“The ordinance is a great move by the government. However, until there is a provision to ban e-cigarette completely, it will not serve the purpose,” he added.
The National Health Forum Managing Trustee Mandakini Sinh said the decision of Ministry of Health on e-cigarettes and similar such products is “correct and a step in the right direction”.
“People must support and appreciate the move made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in ensuring a complete ban of these products,” Sinh said.