Indian Council for Medical Research has recently declared the prohibition of ENDS or e-cigarettes in India due to adverse health related data now available after extensive research. This prohibition from ICMR was for public to prevent them, especially children and pregnant mothers, from the side effects of ENDS or e-cigarettes.
Impact of ENDS on Public Health ENDS or e-cigarettes are battery operated smoking devices. These products contain nicotine in different concentrations along with other flavoring and vaporizing agents found to be harmful for the health. The products resemble exactly like traditional tobacco products like nicotine cigarettes and cigars.
ENDS are also harmful for non-users especially children and pregnant mothers as it can gravely affect them due to their weak immune system4. Use of ENDS or e-cigarettes has documented adverse effects on humans which include DNA damage; carcinogenesis; cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity; respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders and adverse impact on foetal development and pregnancy5. There are several reports of poisoning due to accidental swallowing by children which is a major reason of concern for all health authorities to take stringent actions on use and manufacturing of ENDS products.
The magnitude of the potential risk caused by the use of ENDS or e-cigarettes is not possible to measure since the products are very recent and come in a variety of forms. It is believed that usage of ENDS or e- cigarettes cannot reduce or cease the use of traditional tobacco products rather it can heighten the dual risk of use of ENDS and promote initiation to tobacco addiction to non-smokers. Use of the ENDS or e-cigarettes can potentially lead to excess tobacco usage and can also cause potential threat to the country's tobacco control laws and on-going tobacco control programmes.
E–cigarettes cannot be used as a safe tobacco substitute due to limited data available on the safety. No e-cigarette has been approved by FDA as a cessation aid. Environmental concerns and issues regarding non-user exposure exist. The health impact of e-cigarettes, for users and the public, cannot be determined with currently available data.
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