More than 1000 doctors write to PM Modi to continue ban on e-cigarettes
GUWAHATI: More than 1000 doctors from across the country have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce the ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which includes e-cigarettes, e-hookah, etc. before it becomes an epidemic in India, especially among youth.
E-cigarettes are also called “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” are “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).” Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens and other everyday items.
On August 28, 2018, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MHFW) had issued an advisory to all states/UTs to ban ENDS. This March 2019, a panel of health experts appointed by MHFW submitted a report in which 251 research studies on ENDS were analysed. The Panel concluded that ENDS is as bad as any other tobacco product and is not safe.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Deputy Director, Prof Head & Neck Surgical Oncology Tata Memorial Hospital said, “It will not be an exaggeration if nicotine is considered as poison. It is sad that the ENDS lobby has assembled a group of physicians who are sharing misleading, distorted information to suit the ENDS industry. I applaud the Government of India that in line with their goal of universal healthcare, it took a tough stand against nicotine delivery devices. They must now ensure that this does not get diluted”
He further said E-cigarettes should not be promoted as a safe alternative. The only way is to completely quit smoking and not initiate use of any tobacco product. Tobacco companies want to hook a new generation on nicotine under the allure of safe smoking.
Dr B. Borooah Cancer Institute & Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) patron Dr Ashok Das said, “Research has proven that ENDS are not safe or alternatives to cessation. Nicotine dependence is a major health threat. As a doctor, I will never recommend any nicotine product usage without medical supervision, it being a highly addictive chemical. These products should be banned in India.”