The ban on e-cigarette is targeted at removing a cancer that was threatening the life of unsuspecting users.
Smoking – the real threat –
Smoking-related diseases rank among the greatest public health problems of the last century. Smoking, it is feared, will kill around a sixth of the world’s population in the 21st century. However, there are positive signs. As per the second Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016, India has seen the steepest decline in tobacco consumption (17 per cent) in any part of the world. There could be several reasons for this, but certainly not because e-cigarettes, “offer a path to quitting” to older smokers.
Issues with e-Cigarettes –
- E-cigarette is a nicotine containing device that is owned or promoted by the cigarette industry. The basis of e-cigarette promotion was its safety vis-a-vis conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are claimed to contain nicotine minus the carcinogens in traditional cigarettes. However, nicotine is even more addictive than cocaine. Currently, there is no treatment for nicotine addiction. Moreover, nicotine even in its pure form is potentially carcinogenic. A dose of 30-50 mg of nicotine can kill an adult human.
- Tobacco is the cheapest source of nicotine. Therefore, pure nicotine is a myth and not a reality. The government of India is working towards the reduction of tobacco cultivation. The use of e-cigarettes stood in the way of this endeavour.
Experience in US –
The US has been rocked by vaping related cases of severe lung sickness. There have been 21 deaths in the past three months.
A bad example –
- There is no conclusive evidence that e- cigarettes prove beneficial in quitting cigarettes. On the contrary, it is known that among those who use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, 25 per cent use along it with cigarette and 75 per cent continue to use it even after quitting smoking.
- An e-cigarette, even if it’s proved to help people quit smoking, is a far more expensive proposition compared to medically-approved methods. Fears that the end users will not be conventional cigarette users but youngsters who are the prime targets of the e- cigarette industry are not unfounded.
Why banning is essential?
Since e-cigarettes have a small consumer base, a ban is likely to be effective. India does not manufacture e- cigarettes; so, the country will not suffer revenue losses. We do not agree with the editor’s opinion that the government should make efforts to connect with “all stakeholders of e-cigarettes”.
Source – The Indian Express
QUESTION – The ban on e-cigarettes is a right step in fight against tobacco addiction. Discuss the ban in light of its effect on human health.