CHENNAI: Following the state government’s proposal to ban e-cigarettes, the Association of Vapers India, an organisation that represents e-cigarette users, strongly condemned this move at a press meet on Friday.
They presented 120 research papers to the health minister and the principal health secretary to formulate a policy to regulate vaping instead of completely banning it. During the meet, members of the association said that as e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to human health than cigarettes, they can help in fighting the menace of smoking.
“According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-17, India has about 12 crore smokers. By imposing a ban on e-cigarettes, the usage of cigarettes increase drastically and will have an adverse impact on public health,” said Samrat Chowdhery, director of the association.Chowdhery said that smoking was the only available means for inhaling nicotine. But e-cigarettes now provide a much safer choice and access to it should not be barred, he added. “They are currently the most popular means worldwide to quit smoking, benefitting millions”, he said.
The vapers’ body has been creating awareness to dispel myths and has written to the state government, other health bodies, research organisations and medical councils. They have offered to extend their support in drafting policy framework by providing the latest studies.
“Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not produce any tar or the toxic chemicals. E-cigarettes do contain nicotine, which is addictive but is not the one responsible for tobacco-related harm,” said the other director of the association, Pratik Gupta.
The recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey showed that 20 percent of people in the state, of which 31percent are men and 9.8 per cent are women, use tobacco-related products. Apart from Tamil Nadu, eight other states in the country have banned the sale of e-cigarettes. The State Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar announced about the proposal in the assembly last month.