The 2nd largest country by population has asked its states to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). ENDS includes a slue of products like E-Cigarettes, E-Sheesha, E-Hooka, and more.
India has an estimated 120 million adult cigarette users. Of the 120 million smokers an annual 1 million will die with tobacco related diseases.
The cigarette consumption in India is nothing shy of a national crisis, India houses a staggering 12% of the entire worlds smoking population according to the World Health Organization.
Some places like the UK have embraced electronic cigarettes for their unrivaled effectiveness for helping smokers quit, citing a 95% decreased risk factor when compared to the risks involved in smoking cigarettes. The UK currently has arguably the best regulations when it comes to electronic cigarette devices.
Dehli HC proposed this ban after acknowledging the Centre’s drawn out process to regulate new ENDS products.
The Indian Health Ministry’s current position for the proposed ban falls upon their concern that ENDS bring more harm than good, getting non users addicted. The proposed ban would be all in compassing, meaning all sales, manufacturing, importing, and trading will be banned.
On the contrast, in a study conducted by Dr Shu-Hong Zhu of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, it was found that the majority of electronic cigarette users are current smokers. In that same study, it was found that long term electronic cigarettes usage was directly correlated to higher smoking cessation rates.
Similar studies have been conducted in the UK that have also found results that show electronic cigarettes directly correlate with increased smoking cessation rates.
One would assume that it would become increasingly difficult for governments to place bans on different electronic cigarette products as more studies are being published showing the relative safety of e-cigs compared to cigarettes.
It can be hard sometimes to understand a governments though process when it comes to regulating electronic cigarettes. It seems that India either simply does not have the information or studies that back e-cigarettes as a much safer alternative or India has been puppeteered by prevailing big tobacco companies.
Whatever the result of the proposed ban turns out to be it is clear that India is in a national tobacco crisis. We are just left to wonder how electronic cigarettes could have impacted India’s tobacco problem given proper regulations.