The world’s second largest consumer of tobacco products will ban the sale of e-cigarettes
Just days after US president, Donald Trump announced a ban on flavoured e-liquids in the US, India has gone one step further. This week, a ban on the production, import and sale of vaping products has been announced by Indian officials. This India vaping ban will take away the option of a safer alternative from millions of smokers.
The reason for the India Vaping Ban
One day before the India vaping ban was publicised, New York became the first state to ban e-liquid flavours. Some anti-vaping campaigners protest that flavoured e-liquids are attractive to young people and are resulting in a surge in vaping rates of young people.
This theory has been disproved numerous times by leading health experts here in the UK. Nevertheless, Ministers have claimed the India vaping ban comes amid concerns of youth uptake of vaping. India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said,
“The decision was made keeping in mind the impact that e-cigarettes have on the youth of today.”
It seems odd that the finance minister would be the spokesperson on this topic.
As well as the import, sale and production of e-cigarettes, all advertising will also be banned. People caught breaking the rules could even face up to a year in jail. It is unclear whether the legislation will cover the use of e-cigarette products.
Smoking in India
India is home to over 100 million smokers. This makes India the world’s second-largest consumer of tobacco products, behind China. As other countries are endorsing e-cigarettes and seeing great results, it’s astounding that a country with over 100 million smokers is, not only ignoring these success stories, but actually opposing them.
Despicably, no ban or further regulation on traditional tobacco products has been announced in India. However, this is unsurprising considering India is one of the world’s largest tobacco exporters. The Indian government even holds stakes in tobacco firms.
The number of vapers worldwide increased rapidly over the past 8 years. This in turn has coincided with a significant decrease in worldwide smoking rates. Forward-thinking countries, including the UK have embraced vaping as a tobacco control tool. This has resulted in a steep decline in smoking prevalence in the UK, which now sits at around 15%.
The British Government recognises that the relative safety of vaping should be compared with that of smoking. Public Health England estimates that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Further research from other leading UK health organisations can
It’s frustrating that the global outlook on vaping seems to be tainted by misplaced agendas.