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Consumer rights groups move Assam govt on e-cigarettes

 

GUWAHATI: Two consumer rights’ advocacy organisations have requested the Assam government to ban e-cigarettes in the state.

City-based Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum and New Delhi-based Consumer VOICE have for the second time written a letter addressed to the Assam chief minister; health minister and health secretary, referring to the recent advisory issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, asking all states and Union Territorries to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

Tamil Nadu, taking a cue from the advisory, became the ninth state to ban e-cigarettes on September 3.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers which simulate the feeling of smoking, but without burning tobacco. The user puffs on the mouthpiece of a cartridge causing the vaporizer to heat the liquid inside the cartridge. This liquid contains nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. The heated liquid turns into the vapour (aerosol) that is inhaled.

Earlier, considering the harmful effects of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known as e-cigarettes, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh have already banned them.

Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum has been working on tobacco intervention for many years in collaboration with Consumer VOICE.

Ashim Sanyal, chief operating officer, Consumer VOICE, said, “Such strong steps and strict implementation are crucial in saving youngsters from jumping from one addiction to another. We sincerely urge government of Assam to ban e-cigarettes to save precious lives from nicotine addiction in the state of Assam”.

According to the GATS-2 (Global Adult Tobacco Survey) report, 48.2 percent of adults in Assam consume tobacco in some form or the other and among them, 62.9 percent constitute males and 32.9 percent females.

“Youths are being lured to e-cigarettes in the form of nicotine addiction, who then slowly gravitate towards tobacco cigarettes. Therefore, a ban on e-cigarettes becomes imperative,” he stated.

Ajoy Hazarika, secretary, Consumers Legal Protection Forum said, “These newer forms of addiction are destroying our younger generations. Before it’s too late we request our state government to completely ban e-cigarettes in the larger interest of public health and save our citizens from this nicotine menace.”

 

 

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