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Posted at: Jul 23, 2019, 6:47 AM; last updated: Jul 23, 2019, 6:47 AM (IST)

Centre mulls banning e-cigarettes

Centre mulls banning e-cigarettes

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 22

The government is mulling ways to ban electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes after evidence to suggest that they pose grave risk to human health including malignancies, brain damage, cardiovascular diseases and anxiety disorders.

Discussions are underway in the Ministry of Health to see if ENDS can be defined as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and regulated strictly like drugs.

e-cigarette is the most common type of ENDS that produces an aerosolised mixture of flavoured liquids and nicotine which is inhaled by the user.  Other ENDS products are heat-not-burn devices, e-sheesha and e-nicotine flavoured hookahs which are available all over the country.

The ministry moved against ENDS after a recent research by the Indian Council of Medical Research recommended a complete ban on ENDS in India.

“Based on current data, ICMR recommends complete prohibition on ENDS or e-cigarettes in India. ENDS contain nicotine solution which is highly addictive and also contain other ingredients as flavouring agents and vapourisers which are also harmful. Use of e-cigarettes causes adverse effects on humans which include DNA damage; carcinogenesis; cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity; respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders and adverse impact on foetal development,” research authors JK Chakma and Ravi Dhaliwal say.

Although ENDS are being marketed as tobacco cessation devices, ICMR, India’s apex health research body says the utility of ENDS for tobacco cessation is not firmly established. The government seeks to ban ENDS after issuing an advisory asking states to ensure nicotine containing ENDS devices are not sold online as well.

Knowing ‘ENDS’

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to smoke a flavoured solution containing nicotine. More than 460 e-cigarette brands with over 7,700 flavours are available in the market 

30 countries have banned it

Thirty countries have banned ENDS. Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram, J&K, UP and Bihar have prohibited the manufacture, sale, and import of ENDS products.

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