Millions of Lives at Risk as Government Considers Vape Ban
If the Indian Government bans e-cigarettes it is literally sentencing hundreds of millions of its people to a slow agonizing death.
India is the next major battleground on the vaping divide with major health organizations in the country calling for a complete ban whilst Indian vapers are desperately fighting a rear guard action to change the Government’s mind.
Vaping sales – both bricks and mortar and online – are already banned in the states of Karnataka – Jammu – Kashmir – Kerala – Punjab and Maharashtra and could now go country wide.
The reason once again seems to be so called health professionals ignoring findings from the major organizations that vaping is 95% safer than smoking and instead promoting unfounded and at times scurrilous untruths.
Take for instance the comments from Bhavna B Mukhopadhyay – the chief executive of the Voluntary Health Association of India.
He told the website DoctorNDTV that e-cigarettes were not harm reduction devices at all:
E-cigarettes are just a mechanism to deliver nicotine in an attractive format. They are being marketed as a harm reduction product which is contrary to the truth. Youngsters are being lured as it is easily available in different flavours, people should not get lured into puffing e-cigs because they too, are harmful.
Now this guy apparently has the ear of the Indian Government and his voice of doom looks like it’s being heard.
Officials Convinced Vaping is as Bad as Smoking
At the moment there’s no law in India which will allow the Government to ban e-cigarettes.
However so keen are they to stub out their use a committee is currently looking to see if any existing laws can be used such as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Food Safety & Standards [Prohibition and Restriction on Sales].
Desperate times or what!
A ‘senior’ Government official said recently:
COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) does not have a provision to ban and therefore, we are faced with the challenge of finding a strong provision. We are convinced about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes but if we do not back it up with a strong pro vision under the law then it will fall flat in the courts.
So the Indian Government is ‘convinced about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes’ are they.
How on earth do they come to that conclusion because as I keep reporting more and more studies are being produced showing they most certainly are not as harmful as the powers that be would like us to believe.
Take this recent study by boffins at St Andrews University Scotland with the rather long winded title: Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vapourised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke – and breathe lol.
This study was very recently published in the BMJ [British Medical Journal] and the key finding?
Optimal combinations of device settings, liquid formulation and vaping behaviour normally result in e-cigarette emissions with much less carcinogenic potency than tobacco smoke.
In a nutshell they found that inhaling the vapour from an e-cigarette has a 1% cancer risk compared to smoking.
But hey those health officials in India know best as the Health Secretary C K Mishra told the Times of India a decision on the ban would be coming very soon adding:
We are looking into all aspects of e-cigarettes, and working on a methodology to contain the harm from it.
120 Million Smokers and Rising in India
According to online news site YourStory a staggering 11.2% of the world’s smokers live live in India.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Latest reports shows that India is home to 1.3 billion people – therefore hundreds of millions of Indians smoke – that’s a lot of profit for Big Tobacco but I digress.
And where are the major vape manufacturers in all this?
There’s a lot of potential vapers in India…
According to the web approximately 120million people smoke in India – like I said big profits to be made and maybe more importantly lives to be saved.
In fact smoking among men in particular has risen a staggering 36% over the last decade – wow.
I have visited India a few times when I was a smoker and can attest that everyone and his mother seemed to smoke – the richer ones cheap China brand imports like Win – whilst the poorer bought those little roll-ups that come in bundles of 5 – man they are harsh!
Vaping a Growing Trend
Vaping in India is relatively new but it’s really starting to take off with a number of entrepreneurial types taking the plunge and bringing the devices to the masses.
One such guy is Delhi based Anant Jangwal who has watched his fledgling business Vape Stop grow almost 100% in turnover since its launch back in February.
He told YourStory:
Since e-cigarettes came to India, there has been a growing debate over the acceptance of vaping as a safe alternative to reduce tobacco consumption. Health experts are demanding necessary regulations to prohibit sale of e-cigarettes to minors while the government — skeptical of legalizing vaping in India —has banned e-cigarettes sales (including online) in some states including Karnataka, Jammu Kashmir, Kerala, Punjab and Maharashtra.
However and despite the threats by the Government to place a blanket ban on vape products in the country Ananat is optimistic and has big plans:
Vape Stop’s aim is to create a widespread vaping culture in India, much like the one in the West. Our mission to make the nation tobacco-free by 2030.
We can only wish him well – but how can we help the hundreds of millions of vapers in India looking to use e-cigs to get off the cancer sticks?
Help Save Vaping in India
Politics in India is it’s fair to say about as complex as it gets and I am not qualified to explain it here – suffice it to say complex is a good description!
However Natalia Shchedrina based in Delhi has begun a Change.org petition calling for the Indian Government to ‘to develop and to adopt a document of e-cigarette regulation at the State level.’
Outlining the reason for the petition she says:
The Government should use all possible ways to help people quit a harmful habit. While the countries of Europe and America adopted laws on the regulation e-cigarette use and sale to preserve citizens’ life and health, India is contemplating a ban on the product. Indian people are moving towards technological progress and accepting the healthy lifestyle, and have the right to free choice!
At the time of writing there’s under a thousand signatures – a tiny drop in the ocean of vapers in India.
It’s a tiny step towards fighting for vapers rights in the country but one I strongly believe deserves your support.
You can sign the petition HERE
India Vape Expo 2017
One final thought.
The great and the good from the international world of vaping will be meeting at Vape Expo India next month.
It runs from September 9-10 2017 and held in the grand surroundings of the India Exposition Mart in Delhi.
I’m sure good times will be had and lots of business done.
But what a perfect time it would be for the vaping industry to come together to explain to the Indian Government the true facts about the health risks that surround e-cigarettes.
Let’s hope among all the selling and fun a little bit of time can be put aside to do just that – otherwise not only will it be the last one held in the country – industry insiders will have missed a chance to save hundreds of millions of lives.
Let’s not forget that as fun and enjoyable as it is – vaping began and for many people remains a way to quit smoking.
120 million Indian smokers deserve the chance to choose too.