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    WHO wants regulation on e-cigarettes

    August 29, 2014

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has red flagged the growing market for e-cigarettes in India, underlining that the use of the devices is no less harmful than traditional cigarettes, said a news report in The Hindu.

    Ahead of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control being held in Moscow in October, and a meeting of South Asian nations in Delhi in September, India has been urged to push for regulations in the use of e-cigarettes.

     

    In India smoking devices are easily available through online shopping portals and with little information out in the public domain about the ill-effects of e-cigarettes there is a misconception that it is less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

     

    Dr. Vinayak Mohan Prasad, project manager for Tobacco Control in WHO in Switzerland told The Hindu that smart marketing and inadequate information on the nicotine content in e-cigarettes has created a false impression that these devices are not as harmful as regular cigarettes.

     

    "In the absence of a regulation the use of e-cigarettes has grown; they are easily accessible to even the non smokers. In many countries these e-cigarettes are available in candy flavours, giving an impression they are not harmful. We have sought a regulation on their use to protect public health. There should be a ban on smoking of e-cigarettes in public as well and a restriction on their use," Dr. Prasad said.

     

    From the current $ 3 billion, the market for e-cigarettes is expected to grow 17 times by 2013.

     

    "There is a growing market in India as well, with companies like ITC announcing a foray into the e-cigarette manufacture. Along with the traditional cigarette manufacturing, there is a parallel industry of e-cigarette like devices growing in India, which needs to be regulated,” he said.

     

    The WHO has also expressed concern over the notion that e-cigarettes aid in kicking the habit; it has cautioned that there is not enough evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes help users quit smoking. (KH)

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