Trade Representatives Ask Delhi Government For Regulation For E-Cigarettes.
Encourages the Delhi Government to set a progressive precedent by bringing in regulation for E-Cigarettes.
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The voluntary association of Trade Representatives of ENDS in India (TRENDS) today submitted a representation to the Chief Secretary, Delhi Government with copies to Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister, Satyendra Kumar Jain echoing the observations of the Hon’ble Court yesterday as regards the sale and distribution of E-Cigarettes in Delhi.
In the representation made to the Chief Minister, TRENDS pointed out that it concurs with the concerns of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, which yesterday asked the Delhi Government to urgently examine the issue of regulating the sale and consumption of E-Cigarettes in the state.
The representation pointed out that ‘ It is unfortunate that India still doesn’t have any policy framework for this critical product that provides a harm reduction option to smokers. Many states have rushed into issuing a blanket ban in the sale and trade of e-cigarettes without giving any thought to the fact that they are removing the choice of the consumer of moving to a less harmful method of nicotine consumption’, it said.
Praveen Rikhy, Convener of TRENDS said, “Delhi Government can take the lead in showing the way how a conducive policy framework can help the government meet its smoking reduction targets and at the same time take care to protect the vulnerable sections of the society”.
The representation highlighted the gains of a regulated policy on ENDS which countries like the UK, Canada, and Sweden have implemented for reducing smoking among their citizens. Despite being a nascent product category, there are studies from reputed institutions highlighting that ENDS is less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Studies conducted by Public Health England, Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Physicians have observed that vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
“Banning E-Cigarettes while more harmful traditional beedis and cigarettes are allowed to be sold,” Rikhy added, “is contradictory – It is like banning a less harmful nicotine delivery system while allowing more harmful one's free market availability. This is fundamentally unsustainable as policy or a public health imperative or even in law and consumer rights.”
ENDS, [which is an abbreviation for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems] are micro-battery-powered devices [commonly known as E-Cigarettes] that simulate the sensation of smoking. In the last few years, these products have emerged as a viable substitute to combustible cigarettes as they do not contain tobacco and do not involve combustion, and consequently, have significantly lower or negligible tobacco residue (commonly ‘tar’), carbon monoxide or other known carcinogens that are present in cigarette smoke.
Global studies have established that ENDS is a viable substitute to traditional smoking, in terms of impact on human health and environment. Any arbitrary ban is bound to result in the creation of a 'black market' for ENDS products, resulting in sale of spurious and unsafe products to the citizens
The TRENDS association, which consists of importers, distributors, and marketers of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) devices urged the Delhi Government to consider the viewpoints of all concerned stakeholders and suggested that there should have a policy framework for this critical product that provides a harm reduction option to smokers.
It reiterated that TRENDS is committed to sharing with the Government all available scientific research-backed information, trends report, best practices from other countries where ENDS has been successfully regulated.