The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Tuesday asked the Centre to consider a regulatory framework for e-cigarettes instead of a ban on it as proposed by the health ministry.
The Union health ministry has proposed a ban on the production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes, which is likely to be examined by a Group of Ministers constituted to examine various aspects related to the issue.
A CAIT statement urged the Centre to review “all aspects of e-cigarettes, including existing global norms, emerging supporting evidence showcasing relative safety in comparison to cigarettes, and potential of these products to supplement tobacco control measures.”
The traders’ body said studies by Public Health England show that Electronic Nicotine Delivery System, also known as vapes, are at least 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.
Vaping products have gained popularity as a ‘harm reduction’ tool for smokers. While cigarette smoke exposes smokers to over 400 toxins and 69 known carcinogens, e-cigarettes provide users with a similar amount of nicotine, without emitting these toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, CAIT claimed.
According to Euromonitor India, India’s vapor-products market was valued at $15.6 million in 2017 and is seen growing at nearly 60% annually.