Bans counter-productive

| September 4, 2017

Banning electronic cigarettes could deprive Indian smokers of a substantially-less-harmful alternative to traditional tobacco-cigarettes and cause adverse public-health consequences, according to an Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) story.

Some states in India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes, though the sale of tobacco cigarettes remains legal.

At the same time, the Union Health Ministry has reportedly ruled that e-cigarettes are unacceptable in the light of what it sees as the findings of expert research concluding that these devices have cancer-causing properties, are highly addictive and do not offer a safer alternative to tobacco-based smoking products.

However, some health experts argue that such a stance creates a paradox because the government is allowing the sale of ‘lethal’ tobacco cigarettes while banning a substantially less harmful alternative.

Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece, and a renowned expert on e-cigarettes, said that in his opinion banning these devices would be detrimental to the cause of public health. Farsalinos said such a ban would have adverse consequences because it would deprive Indian smokers of a substantially-less-harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

Meanwhile, R.N. Sharan, professor at North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya, said banning e-cigarettes was a hasty decision that could be counter-productive because the extent of e-cigarette use or its harm in India were not known.

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Category: Breaking News, Markets, Next-generation products, Regulation, Vapor

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