E-Cigarettes: Why The Government Is Planning To Ban Them
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E-Cigarettes: Why The Government Is Planning To Ban Them

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Electronic cigarettes are considered as a healthier smoking alternative: they do not contain any of the various cancer-substances produced by tobacco, such as carbon monoxide or tar, and some researchers say they could help to stop smoking. India has more than 12 million smokers: this dangerous addiction killed 1 million people only in 2010, and today more than 270 million Indians are at high risk of contracting diseases like cancer, due to the consumption of tobacco. In the country, since 2008, the government banned the use of cigarettes in public places with a strict legislation.

Now, the institutions are about to plan some new rules for the sector of e-cigs too, to ban their sales in the whole country for the reason that in these latest years they spread too fast and in an uncontrolled way among people: for the government, well-conducted researches and studies about positive effects of electronic cigarettes have not been proven yet, and above all these devices contain nicotine. The sale of such products needs to be strictly regulated because nicotine is a cardiac stimulant, may cause psychological problems and addiction.

Today the trade of e-cigs is allowed, but it was recently banned in Maharashtra and Punjab: any shop found selling e-cigs in these two states of India will receive a prohibitory notice to immediately stop and bring to a civil action in the court of law. In the rest of the country, people can easily buy e-cigs in malls, in online shops and even on-board Air India flights at not expensive prices. For the Ministry of health this choice is against the "Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act" and "it is also contrary to our policy of using public conveyance for health promotion messages".

But what is an e-cigarette and how does it work? It is a battery-powered device which vaporizes a liquid solution containing water, flavorings, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol. At the discretion of the consumer it could contain different quantities of nicotine. When the battery is activated, the supplied energy causes heating that - together with the rapid air flow of inhalation - produce the vaporization of the liquid. E-cigs do not let off tobacco smell and do not produce ash.
Nevertheless, according to the WHO (Word Health Organization), consumers should be advised not to use any of these products, because their safety and efficacy for helping people to quit smoking have not been scientifically demonstrated enough. So, it is necessary that scientific research continues to study the long-term effects of e-cigs, so that governments could regulate the industry starting with health protection, instead of economic interests.

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