A decision under the “first 100 days agenda” of Modi Government, the centre is all set to ban e-cigarettes or VAPES in India, stating its harmful effects and its unlicensed marketing in India.
If you are among the “uncool” ones who had never heard of e-cigarettes/vapes before, then allow me to enlighten you.
What Are E-Cigarettes or Vapes?
An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits a vaporized nicotine or non-nicotine solution without inhaling the tobacco smoke. As soon as the user sucks the mouthpiece, the sensors activate the heating element, which turns the liquid solution into vapors (aerosol).
E-Cigarettes were introduced as a “healthier” option for smokers to switch on their way to quitting. Considering that the smoker doesn’t inhale tobacco smoke, this device grew extremely popular worldwide, especially amongst millennials.
You must be thinking if it is really healthier, then why are we even banning it? The answer follows.
Harmful Effects Of Vapes
While it is undeniably correct that e-cigarettes are still a better option than a regular puffing of tobacco filled cigarettes, we cannot be blind to its hazardous effects. Its more like a worse version of choosing between- “khai” and “kua”; just involves some cancer tumors, lung failure and slow, painful death.
According to recent reports, most smokers have entirely switched to vapes or e-cigarettes rather than using it as a small phase to quit.
Most youngsters have chosen e-cigarettes as a starter to begin smoking, because apparently that makes them look “cooler” and less of a douchebag. If only they knew!
Researchers debate that instead of reducing the statistics of smokers in the world, people are getting more attracted to e-cigarettes, owing to the amazing marketing strategies and different variety of flavors (7700, precisely.)
In a report by Medical News Today, E-Cigarettes have been claimed to be the cause of an irreversible lung disease known as “popcorn lung”.
It uses nicotine which is addictive and not to mention harmful. Such high levels of nicotine may damage the neural stem cells.
In a recent lab result of 2018, it was concluded that “e-cigarettes may contribute to lung bladder cancer as well as heart disease in humans.”
Why Did The Centre Label It As A Drug?
Apart from the obvious reason that it is harmful, the health ministry has been looking for ways to ban e-cigarettes in India. The only problem is, the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, prevents it do so.
Therefore, the experts suggested to label that similar devices can fall into the definition of “drugs” and be banned under Section 26(A) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940(DCA).
In the minutes of the meeting, it was stated that “ENDS, including e-cigarettes, heat-not burn devices, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine, flavored hookah, and similar products, are used as a tobacco (especially smoking forms such as cigarettes) cessation products, and function for nicotine de-addiction. Hence, these devices and products fall under the definition of “drugs” in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act”.
The debate over the pros and cons of e-cigarettes is endless. Many argue that there is not enough evidence about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. The stake holders have been persuading the Government against the decision.
Moreover, the decision would not motivate chain smokers to quit smoking; rather they would fall back to conventional cigarettes and their regular tobacco life.
Considering the history of “banned” things in India, such as drugs, porn, not-to-forget alcohol (in some states), it would be fascinating to see how the Government handles the “ban” this time.
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