Tuesday January 28, 2020

Experts Argue Over The Cessation Of E-Cigarettes In India

E-cigarettes, are a proven stop smoking tool and, while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact.

Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

Backing a recent UK Parliamentary Committee report on e-cigarettes, Indian experts have contended that despite being 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, they are often being overlooked as a smoking cessation tool.

According to the recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, e-cigarettes should not be treated in the same way as conventional cigarettes.

Regulations should be relaxed relating to e-cigarettes’ licensing, prescribing and advertising of their health benefits. Their level of taxation and use in public places must be reconsidered, it said.

“E-cigarettes and heat-not-burn devices are estimated to be 95 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, less damaging than cigarettes. Therefore, the Committee recommended that e-cigarettes may not be equated with tobacco products in public places,” said R.N. Sharan, Professor at North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya.

“Many countries, struggling to cope with the tobacco-related national health burden and loss of productivity, should take a cue from this report and re-look at their existing policies to leverage newer technologies to reduce the tobacco-related health burden,” he added

Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases, Pixabay

As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-17, India is home to 10 crore tobacco smokers and is the second-highest tobacco-user country (over 300 million) in the world.

Every fifth adult in India uses smokeless (chewing) tobacco and every 10th adult smokes tobacco, and the country also holds the record for having the second-lowest tobacco-quit rate, the survey has revealed.

Thus, the Committee’s report is particularly relevant to India, the experts noted.

However, some states in India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala, have prohibited sales of e-cigarettes, while tobacco cigarettes remain legal.

The bans are in the light of research findings by experts who concluded that they have cancer-causing properties, are highly addictive, and do not offer a safer alternative to tobacco-based smoking products.

This is a policy paradox because where countries like the UK have found reasons to adopt e-cigarette as a harm-reduction alternative, India insists upon banning them even without having much indigenous research and or debating the global evidence free from the prism of ideology, experts favouring e-cigarettes here have argued.

Many people may be vaping nicotine through e-cigarettes, smoking.

“Health professionals in India need wider options in their stash of existing approach and tools for tobacco cessation. Governments and policymakers need to consider this appropriately in the larger interest of public health,” Sharan stated.

Importantly, the UK Committee found that e-cigarettes are not a significant “gateway”, including for young non-smokers, to conventional smoking and do not pose a significant risk through second-hand inhalation.

Also Read: Smoking Habits May Harm Breastfeeding, Newborns At Risk

E-cigarettes, are a proven stop smoking tool and, while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes-which currently kill millions, the experts noted.(IANS)

Next Story

Novel Coronavirus: Government Deploys Health Team on Nepal Border

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there

The Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion. VOA

In the wake of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Nepal, the Union Health Ministry has subsequently strengthened its vigil in the areas bordering Nepal.

The recent deployment of health team has taken place at Panitanki in West Bengal, entry point from Nepal, said the Health Ministry on Monday.

“Update on #ncov2020 – Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the ministry tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday the ministry had informed that in response to confirmed case of the new virus in the neighbourhood country Nepal, India stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. The health ministry said that teams of medical experts were also deployed at border outpost with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies. VOA

In continuation of its efforts to stop the virus from entering in India and making the passengers aware, the ministry has also displayed signage advising the passengers for self reporting and other precautions, disseminated through advisories, at the Mumbai airport.

According to the health ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened. Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found till date.

Also Read: Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the announcement made by Chinese health authorities on Monday, 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 461 in critical condition and a total of 5,794 suspected cases have also been reported. The killer virus has caused 80 deaths in China, as per Chinese authorities.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there. The health ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students. (IANS)