Up in smoke: Government bans the sale, production, import and distribution of e-cigarettes

Studies have found that youths using ENDS or e-cigarettes are more likely to use regular cigarettes later.

Myupchar September 18, 2019 18:21:41 IST
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Up in smoke: Government bans the sale, production, import and distribution of e-cigarettes
  • 15 puffs of e-cigarette vapour deliver anywhere from 0.5 to 15.4 mg of nicotine

  • Studies have found that youths using ENDS or e-cigarettes are more likely to use regular cigarettes later

  • Most brands of e-cigarettes are reported to have toxic substances such as aldehydes, terpenes, heavy metals and silicate particles that can affect our cardiovascular health and immune system

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced today (18 September) that the Union government has now banned the sale, production, import and distribution of e-cigarettes. Sitharam added that India’s youth sees e-cigarettes as a style statement rather than a health risk.

E-cigarettes came to market in 2007 with the promise that they could help people quit smoking. Yet, many researchers have associated e-cigarettes with growing nicotine dependence among young people.

Up in smoke Government bans the sale production import and distribution of ecigarettes

E-cigarette. Image by Roland Mey from Pixabay

As reported on 26 August in the Health section of Firstpost.com, e-cigarettes, vapes, and vaping pens have many health risks associated with them. Here’s a quick recap:

E-cigarettes can get you hooked

E-cigarettes provide nicotine to users in the form of aerosols. According to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, a journal by Oxford Academic, 15 puffs of e-cigarette vapour deliver anywhere from 0.5 to 15.4 mg of nicotine. This is much lower than most cigarettes, but not negligible.

In a recent white paper for the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Joy Kumar Chakma wrote that the world over, more underaged young adults are smoking because of the availability of e-cigarettes and vapes.

“A study suggests that about 21 per cent of high-school students and 5 per cent of middle-school students reported to have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days in 2018, which represents an increase of 1.5 million youth from 2017 to 2018,” Dr Chakma wrote. “Studies have found that youths using ENDS or e-cigarettes are more likely to use regular cigarettes later. E-cigarettes increase the likelihood to experiment with regular tobacco products and increase intention to indulge in cigarette smoking,” he added.

Vaping: Smoke Without Fire, Part 1Smoking e-cigarettes or vaping, is catching up in India, igniting a fierce debate over issues of health, ethics and the right to choice. Thirteen states have already banned vapes. The Central government is reportedly mulling an ordinance to ban it across the country. In this three-part series, Firstpost Conversations explores the issue with national and international experts.

Posted by Firstpost on Friday, 6 September 2019

Chemical reactions

Experts say that e-cigarette cartridges contain several chemicals that react with each other to form more harmful chemicals.

Most brands of e-cigarettes are reported to have toxic substances such as aldehydes, terpenes, heavy metals and silicate particles that can affect our cardiovascular health and immune system.

According to one study published in the British Medical Journal, e-cigarette liquid (ECL) is toxic to our lungs.

So far, at least six people in the U.S. and two in the U.K. are reported to have died from illnesses linked to vaping.

Lower immunity

Health experts say that e-cigarettes can reduce the function of macrophages (a type of immune cells) and cause inflammation in the lungs - this can make users prone to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

From increased risk of cancer to ill-effects for second-hand smokers, e-cigarettes have several documented cons. The one pro it was supposed to have - that it could help some smokers quit - too has been overturned (some experts say that nicotine patches are just as good, if not better at this).

In all this, there still hasn’t been a countrywide study to establish exactly how many people smoked e-cigarettes and who will be affected by this ban.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/disease/smoking-addiction

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