There is much hue and cry about the harmful and beneficial effects of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, but governments of the world have called for a ban on the product. The handheld battery-powered vaporizer, which mimics the smoking of real cigarettes but without burning tobacco, had been touted to be safer than the conventional cigarettes.
In September 2019, US President Donald Trump had said that his administration plans to ban flavoured e-cigarette products in the United States following six deaths linked to vaping (a term for using e-cigarette). The decision came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US recently said that there were now more than 450 possible cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping.
India too followed suit, with the Union Cabinet giving its approval to ban e-cigarettes, which means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned. Considering the ill-effects of e-cigarettes on health, the Health Ministry prepared a draft with strict rules and laws on e-cigarettes called 'The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance 2019' to stop the unexpected growth of e-cigarette market in India which is unregulated so far.
ALL ABOUT ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES:
E-cigarettes were introduced in 2003 with the idea that they may help people quit smoking. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes with some even resembling the traditional cigarette, but without burning tobacco. Most have a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid solution called e-liquid. The liquid usually contains nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, additives, and other chemicals.
When the liquid is heated it produces an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs, and which bystanders can also breathe in when the 'vaper' or user exhales it into the air.
E-cigarettes are known by many different names. They are sometimes called e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
PROS AND CONS:
Not much is not known about the benefits and health risks of e-cigarettes, and there is very little evidence that they might actually help people quit smoking, and they have not been proven to be more effective than smoking cessation medicine.
They are not advisable for pregnant women as most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive and toxic to developing fetuses. Exposure to nicotine can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s. E-cigarette aerosol can contain chemicals that are harmful to the lungs.
E-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes, but it does not mean that they are safe as e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.
They may help non-pregnant adult smokers if used as a complete substitute for all cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products. However, results from a few studies on the issue are still mixed.
Overall, e-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.