Wednesday January 29, 2020

Indian Parliament Imposes Ban on E-Cigarettes

Moving the Bill, Harsh Vardhan clarified that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products

0
//
E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes are electronic devices which can enable the delivery of all intoxicating substances. Predominantly, they are used for nicotine delivery, which is one of the most addictive elements known. Pixabay

Paving the way for a complete ban on E-Cigarettes, the Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Prohibition of E-Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, by voice vote.

The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha for replacing the ordinance promulgated last September.

Replying to members on the Bill, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged them to pass the legislation unanimously in the larger interest of the children.

“There is evidence now that e-cigarettes are very harmful. They can become a bigger menace than tobacco one day. So, the intention of the government has been to nip the problem in the bud itself,” the minister said.

While most members in the House supported the ban on e-cigarettes, some of the MPs wanted to know why conventional cigarettes aren’t banned as they are equally or even more harmful.

Many opposition members also expressed reservation over bringing the ordinance and introducing the Bill without sending the same to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

On why all tobacco products are not being banned, Harsh Vardhan said that he would be the happiest person if that happens.

“You see, in a country as vast as India, once a particular product has a very big consumer base and social acceptance, it is in fact very, very difficult to ban it,” the minister said.

On the reasons for bringing the ordinance, the minister said that apart from other things, some of the big tobacco companies changed their names and started making plans to enter India.

E-Cigarettes
Paving the way for a complete ban on E-Cigarettes, the Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, by voice vote. Wikimedia Commons

“They had made full preparations. There was an announced entry of a company called Juul, one of the leading global manufacturers of e-cigarettes, in December 2019. It was probably one of the most imminent concerns that worried all of us,” he said.

Participating in the discussions, Trinamool Congress leader Santanu Sen argued for banning all tobacco products as all of them were harmful to human health.

“Of course, by this Bill we are preventing a person from committing suicide by jumping from the fifth floor, but we are also keeping the more affordable and accessible 10th floor wide open to jump from,” Sen said to highlight the serious health concerns posed by conventional cigarettes.

The Rajya Sabha MP, also national president of Indian Medical Association, noted that a normal cigarette constitutes 700 chemicals out of which 250 are very much harmful. Further, out of this 250 chemicals, 60 cause cancer while all of them are carcinogenic.

“Smoking increases coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times. It increases stroke by 2 to 4 times. It increases lung cancer by 25 times and it increases the probability of COPDA (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) by 13 times,” the Trinamool leader said.

Congress MP B.K. Hariprasad said that he did not support e-cigarettes but opposed the way the Bill had been brought. He also suspected the intention of the government behind bringing the ordinance and subsequently the Bill hurriedly.

“People are smelling a rat in the way this Bill has been brought hastily,” Hariprasad said while making a case for banning all tobacco products as all of them were equally harmful.

He said the government should not succumb to tobacco lobbyists.

Senior CPI leader Binoy Viswam also raised questions around the manner in which the bill had been introduced as no survey or study was carried out before bringing the legislation.

Replying to members on the Bill, Harsh Vardhan said that all his life he had fought against tobacco lobbyists and therefore members should not have any suspicion on his intention.

Congress MP Rajeev Gowda said that the ban has to be a last resort rather than the first resort which is what has been the practice in this particular context.

“A ban or prohibition, as we have seen everywhere, results in underground activities. It results in criminalisation of the society. It results in the creation of a mafia that deals with the underground activity,” Gowda said while participating in the discussions on the bill.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices which can enable the delivery of all intoxicating substances. Predominantly, they are used for nicotine delivery, which is one of the most addictive elements known. This also includes all forms of electronic nicotine as well as non-nicotine delivery devices such as e-hookahs and heat-not-burn products.

Moving the Bill, Harsh Vardhan clarified that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products.

“Any comparison about their adverse health impacts with tobacco is misplaced. There is also no conclusive evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. On the other hand, there is definitely an emerging evidence all over the world that e-cigarettes have significantly harmful effects on health,” the minister said.

E-Cigarettes
The Rajya Sabha MP, also national president of Indian Medical Association, noted that Apart From E-Cigarettes, a normal cigarette constitutes 700 chemicals out of which 250 are very much harmful. Further, out of this 250 chemicals, 60 cause cancer while all of them are carcinogenic. Pixabay

Highlighting the harmful effects of nicotine delivered by e-cigarettes, the minister said that nicotine sulfate was once approved to be used as a pesticide by the agriculture department.

“Recently, even that approval has been withdrawn considering its toxicity. Therefore, it is a chemical that is not even fit to be used as a pesticide. That is the latest about nicotine.

ALSO READ: Facebook Unveils New Feature That Lets Users Directly Transfer Images to Google Photos

“It is the most addictive substance currently known in the world and is even more addictive than heroin. There is currently no known treatment for nicotine-addiction anywhere in the world,” Harsh Vardhan said. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s how Consuming High Fibre Diet Leads to Bloating

People who consume high fibre diets may experience bloating

0
high fibre diets bloating
People who eat high fibre diets are more likely to experience bloating if their high fibre diet is protein-rich. Pixabay

People who eat high fibre diets are more likely to experience bloating if their high fibre diet is protein-rich as compared to carbohydrate-rich, according to a new study.

For the study, published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, the researchers from Johns Hopkins University analysed data from a clinical trial of high fibre diets.

“It’s possible that in this study, the protein-rich version of the diet caused more bloating because it caused more of a healthy shift in the composition of the microbiome,” said study co-senior author Noel Mueller from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

high fibre diets bloating
“It’s possible that in this study, the protein-rich version of the diet caused more bloating because it caused more of a healthy shift in the composition of the microbiome. Pixabay

“Notably, the protein in these diets was mostly from vegetable sources such as beans, legumes, and nuts,” Mueller added.

High-fibre diets are believed to cause bloating by boosting certain populations of healthful fibre-digesting gut bacteria species, which produce gas as a byproduct.

The findings thus also hint at a role for “macronutrients” such as carbs and proteins in modifying the gut bacteria population–the microbiome.

In the study, the researchers examined a dietary clinical trial that was conducted in 2003 and 2005 in Boston.

Known as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial to Prevent Heart Disease (OmniHeart), it included 164 participants who had above-normal blood pressure.

They were assigned to three different diets over consecutive six-week periods separated by two-week “washout” intervals during which participants returned to regular eating habits.

high fibre diets bloating
High-fibre diets are believed to cause bloating by boosting certain populations of healthful fibre-digesting gut bacteria species, which produce gas as a byproduct. Pixabay

The diets were all considered high-fibre, low-sodium “DASH” diets, and had the same number of calories, but varied in their macronutrient emphases: a carbohydrate-rich version was, by calories, 58 per cent carbohydrate, 15 per cent protein, and 27 per cent fat; a plant-protein-rich version was 48 per cent carbs, 25 per cent protein, 27 per cent fat; and a fat-rich version was 48 per cent carbohydrate, 15 per cent protein, and 37 per cent fat.

The primary results of the OmniHeart trial, published in 2005, suggested that the plant-protein-rich and fat-rich diets were the most effective in reducing blood pressure and improving measures of blood cholesterol.

In their new analysis of this data, they examined how participants’ reports of bloating–which were among the secondary data collected in that trial–varied as participants ate the three OmniHeart diets.

A key finding was that the prevalence of bloating went from 18 per cent before the diets to 24, 33, and 30 per cent, respectively, on the carb-, protein-, and fat-rich diets–indicating that these high fibre diets did indeed appear to increase bloating.

Also Read- Eating Walnuts May Help Slow Cognitive Decline: Study

The researchers also analysed the relative changes among the diets, and linked the protein-rich diet to a significantly greater chance of bloating–roughly 40 percent greater–in comparison with the carb-rich diet.

The results suggest that substituting high quality carb calories, such as whole grain, for protein calories might reduce bloating for those on high fiber diets, making such diets more tolerable. (IANS)