Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), called for a complete ban on Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) or e-cigarettes in a white paper released on May 31st, 2019 on the eve of World No Tobacco Day.
The top medical regulatory body of the country took the decision based on scientific evidence which contradicts the growing claims made by e-cigarette manufacturers that they facilitate the cessation of smoking.
The white paper pointed out that smoke or ‘vape’ which is produced by the e-cigarette contains a varying concentration of nicotine, which is considered one of the most addictive substances. The rapidity at which nicotine is introduced into the system, the age of first exposure and the dosage administered all add up to determine the potential risk of a person being addicted to it throughout life.
E-cigarettes also contain other ingredients as flavouring agents and vaporisers, which are also found to be harmful to health.
The use of e-cigarettes poses a potential risk for the user, causing adverse effects which include DNA damage; carcinogenesis; cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity; and respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders to its users. Passive smoking can adversely affect foetal development and pregnancy.
There are reports of poisoning due to accidental swallowing by children. These devices also can cause fire and explosion, notes the white paper.