How The World Just Became A Little Bit More Anti-Vaping
Another state in India has decided to outright ban vaping, a move that’s sending mixed signals to the community
Around the world, there have been many responses to the growth of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems), a.k.a. E-cigarettes. It seems that each country is having a slightly different reaction concerning how they ought to be treated under the law. While countries like the UK are accepting and encouraging smokers to take up vaping, there are other countries like Australia who have strict laws about use and access to these products. Things are much the same In India, with many states have decided to ban the products altogether.
Last week the state of Tamil Nadu became the latest to place an outright ban on ENDS. While the vaping community is calling out for a reconsideration of the topic, public health officials there seem to view the matter in black and white, saying “Nicotine is an addiction-producing substance. E-cigarettes contain concentrated nicotine.”
The Latest Ban
The situation is far from simple, however, as the presence of nicotine is necessary for e-cigarettes to do what they have been intended to do, help people quit smoking. Samrat Chowdhery, the director of the Association of Vapers India, is speaking out calling the ban “draconian.” He claims that scientific evidence and studies the AVI submitted to the Health Department were not even considered in the decision. Chowdhery continued saying that “By banning e-cigarettes, the government has removed a safer alternative to smoking. They are limiting the options for people to quit smoking.” At this time AVI is working to take action to legally challenge the ban and open options back up for smokers.
Dr. Arvind Krishnamurthy, who supports the ban, justifies his anti-vaping stance by saying “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that e-cigarettes are potentially harmful as well, although not to the extent of the conventional cigarettes.” Dr. Krishnamurthy acknowledges, even while staunchly supporting the ban, how much safer e-cigarettes are than traditional combustible cigarettes. In fact, he’s right about the growing body of evidence, but not about what its concluded.
What The Research Says
Harm reduction is the primary reason e-cigarettes were invented, to give smokers an option that satisfies their needs, their addiction to nicotine, their habitual patterns, all in a safer way than cigarettes. A study conducted by Public Health England found that, while not entirely harmless, e-cigarettes are still 95% safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences, late last year, found that the likeliness of a vaper of developing cancer is 57,000 times lower than that of a comparable smoker.
If that wasn’t enough, a report out of the University of Louisville found that when compared to other nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gums, patches, and even prescription drugs, vaping was the most effective smoking cessation tool on the market.
Probably the worst part of this ban on e-cigarettes and vaporizers is that it will reinforce to the public that trying to quit smoking by utilizing e-cigarettes is not worth it. If these lawmakers and health officials are concerned with the presence of nicotine and the potential for harm to their people, then they really ought to be banning traditional cigarettes, which have been proven by many scientific studies to be more harmful and more addictive than vaporizers. What these officials really ought to do is let their citizens utilize e-cigarettes to help them quit.
Surveys have found that at this point the number of adults who know the truth about the relative safety and smoking cessation abilities of e-cigarettes is as low as 13%, while double that amount at 26% believes vaping to be as bad or worse than smoking. Placing a ban on the healthier of the two products misinforms the public and tells them that it is worse to vape than it is to smoke. This ban seems especially heinous when even the doctors who support the ban acknowledge that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
Misperceptions about vaping among the general public tend to spawn from misinformation spread by the anti-vaping lobby and major news sources. There is also just plain old fear of the unknown. That is why it’s so important we spread the truth about how much safer vaping really is than smoking. It is with the assurances of science and society that people will finally give vaping a chance. Once smokers feel the change will actually benefit them, they will be much more likely to take it up. That would represent a significant step closer to a smoke-free world.
Do you think the rampant bans and regulations are warranted? Have bans affected you, or anyone you know where they live? What do you think is the best way for us to spread the real information on vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.