NEW DELHI: E-cigarettes, which contain solvent and nicotine, is as much harmful and addictive as consuming tobacco but has, yet, seen a rise in demand, medical experts from AIIMS have said. “It is myth that e-cigarettes are better. While there’s no specific data on how the e-cigarettes are selling in the country, they are especially popular with the young generation,” Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, said.
The latest survey conducted by New Delhi-based Consumer Voice, a non-profit organisation, has found that 36 brands have been selling the devices illegally in the country over the last three years.
“There are doctors who have supported e-cigarettes. They often promote such products because they are involved with certain brands,” said Dr SK Choudhary, HOD, Department of CTVS, on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, which is observed on May 31.
Dr Choudhary noted that e-cigarette contains a solvent, synthetic chemical, which is a major contributor to cancer. He added that the consumption rate is more among youths, especially those who have never smoked cigarettes before.
Earlier this month, the Union health ministry had issued a circular asking other government department not to publish any research, reports or studies on e-cigarettes and other devices, which release nicotine, without consulting the ministry.
The doctors from AIIMS, however, added that Indian Council for Medical Research had taken an initiative to conduct a study on e-cigarettes and will release a ‘white paper’ on Friday.“Most of the vendors are seen outside schools, as it is easy to target children. The packaging of tobacco is colourful, which helps lure students. The lobby is strong and, perhaps, that’s why tobacco sale cannot be reduced,” Guleria said.