NEW DELHI: With over 100 million smokers in India, regulations and education can be the key to provide safer alternative to tobacco smoking.
Though Indian government has been planning to ban E-cigarettes in India, experts and the traders have been demanding that instead of banning these products, regulation can be the key which could help Indian get over traditional smoking which many believe is way more dangerous than E-cigarettes.
Speaking to IANS, Lindsay Mark Lewis, Executive Director and Board Member, Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) claimed that banning E-cigarettes would result into a big fatal for public health in India as these devices can help millions of smokers in India to quit smoking and also save bystanders from the dangerous smoke.
"It is necessary that E-cigarettes are kept in Indian markets, if you see some issues with excessive use then put in regulations like a minimum age of usage. But banning these products would end up giving a big blow to Indian economy and the public health," Lewis said.
Lewis added that educating younger generation and people rural India, is one big key to remove concerns that have come up against E-cigarettes.
"I agree that nicotine might also be addictive, but one needs to understand that E-cigarettes are far more safe then traditional smoking. Its better that we educate youngsters and people in rural India to give up smoking," he added.
Among the other experts who have been writing to the Indian government against E-cigarette ban was Patrick Basham, Director, Democracy Institute, Washington DC. In his letter to Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Basham wrote, "Countries where e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products are allowed have seen dramatic reductions in smoking rates and limited use among youth and nonsmokers."
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also wrote to the Health ministry demanding that E-cigarettes must not be banned.
It has been established by leading public health bodies like the Public Health England that ENDS are at least 95 percent less harmful than cigarettes and globally, these products are being used to strengthen tobacco control measures of various countries like UK, Canada, New Zealand," CAIT wrote in its letter to the Health Ministry.