An e-cigarette, short for electronic cigarette, is a battery-operated device. The user inhales it looking for a sensation similar to inhaling tobacco smoke, but without the smoke. India’s market for e-cigarettes, while nascent today, is projected to grow annually at more than 25 per cent in the next five years.
The High Court threw out a petition asking for protection from an ordinance against e-cigarettes and announced E-cigarette ban in India. This has emboldened the Health Ministry, which now seeks legal backing for a ban in the form of an ordinance. The ordinance makes any violation of its provisions punishable by imprisonment of one to three years, and a fine of Rs 1-5 lakh.
Patients using e-cigarettes have presented with symptoms such as cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, nausea and headache. These are sometimes accompanied by anorexia, diarrhoea and weight loss.
In a reply to the Drug Controller General of India dated August 28, the Trade Representatives of ENDS in India (TRENDS), has questioned the scientific documents that the government has cited in favour of a crackdown on electronic cigarettes, by introducing E-cigarette ban in India.
Complaining that its letters to the ministry and to the minister have gone unanswered, TRENDS has sought an appointment with CDSCO officials to “place before you scientific evidence that refutes all the claims made in the ICMR report about the dangers of ENDS as a product category”.