The government of India’s Health Ministry is considering a ban on e-cigarettes in the country. A government offical said Reutters that the move is being taken considering the risks to public health these e-cigarettes may cause.
Earlier in August, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, in the latest bid to control the booming $3 billion global market.
What is eCigarette?
eCigarette is a device that is battery-powered cartridge that produces a nicotine-laced vapour. The device is said to be tobacco free but is still lacks a long-term scientific research that can confirm that it is safe. Some critics fear they could lead to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking.
“We see it as a backdoor entry, it doesn’t have tobacco but it has nicotine,” said the official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“Expert panels have recommended regulation or a ban. India cannot regulate easily,” the official added, saying that the government would consider the ban in the next month or two.
eCigarette laws in other parts of the world
Before India, the European Union has already agreed to requirements around advertising and packaging to ensure the safety and quality of e-cigarettes. The U.S.F.D.A – United States Food and Drug Administration has proposed banning sales to anyone under the age of 18.
Tobacco and India
Up to 900,000 Indians die every year of tobacco-related diseases, and that number could reach 1.5 million by 2020 if users do not kick the habit, the International Tobacco Control Project estimates.