NEW DELHI: The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has appealed to the government to ban e-cigarettes and vaping products in the country.
The appeal was made to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday.
"If e-cigarettes are allowed in India, it will have a devastating effect on the tobacco farmers in India. The main reason is that the e-cigarette companies who are trying to open shops in India are of foreign origin and do not use Indian tobacco. In fact, the countries that these e-cigarettes belong to, like the US, have also banned them," Jagjit Singh Dallewala of the BKU said in a statement on Tuesday.
The BKU said more than 30 countries have banned these items and more are planning to ban them. Tobacco growing countries like Thailand, Nepal, Brazil, Mexico, and Sri Lanka have also banned these products to save the livelihoods of their farmers.
The BKU has alleged that extraction of nicotine from tobacco is done outside India. The tobacco used is also grown outside India, the raw material used to manufacture nicotine is the tobacco dust, produced while processing chewing and beedi tobacco. The farmers do not produce any fresh quantity of tobacco to extract nicotine.
The BKU has alleged that some companies have a vested interest and are trying to mislead the government.