India Health Experts Ban Ecigs But Ignore 600 Million People that Defecate in Public
Electronic cigarettes are becoming a growing fad among smokers in India, but the country’s officials are taking steps to ban vaping. The Union Health Ministry recently announced plans to completely ban ecigs through new legislation. Apparently, the officials fear that ecigs are too dangerous for public health. It’s kind of strange considering that India is well known for public defecation and streets filled with roaming cattle.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Health Ministry are working together to push through fast restrictions to keep ecigs away from India’s population. According to New Delhi press reports, many Indian tobacco companies are starting to manufacture ecigs to make up for falling profits from tobacco cigarettes. The ecigs are selling quickly among India’s young adults and New Delhi reporters call vaping a “fashion statement” for smokers.
One of India’s health “experts” told the Deccan Chronicle that ecigs are deadly and dangerous. “Not many people know that it has a potential of killing as inhaling nicotine could be dangerous. It is also very harmful for the passive smokers. So it has been decided to completely ban this menace by bringing strong legislation,” he said.
A Health Ministry official said they would begin by stopping all ecig products from entering the country as imports. “Appropriate legislative and regulatory measures to prevent the use of e-cigarettes are necessary. They are imported, unlicensed products, widely sold online. The sales of e-cigarettes are growing fast. A robust system will therefore be soon put in place to see that they are not entering in the country,” he said.
It’s really unfortunate that India’s smokers are being sentenced to life without the option of vaping. Studies show that ecigs are effective for smoking cessation and actually minimize the risk of relapse. Leading global health experts have also warned that regulating ecigs could be deadly as it prevents smokers from using this safer alternative. It looks like India’s health officials have things upside down. They are banning ecigs that could benefit public health and mostly ignoring the larger problems that put India’s citizens at serious risk.
Instead of picking on ecigs, these health experts might want to focus on the customary practice of open defecation. If you travel to India, it is slightly shocking at first to see people squatting on the side of the road to relieve themselves. You always have to watch your step because between the free roaming cows and the public defecation. With an estimated 600 million people still defecating in public in India, it puts the population at serious risk for deadly diseases like cholera, dysentery, Hepatitis A, and typhoid. Because of this, India has the world’s highest number of deaths reported in children under age five.
It’s a strange world in India. Electronic cigarettes are banned, but it’s still completely acceptable to forego the toilet and relieve yourself in the streets.