Activists ask Karnataka govt to not budge on e-cigarette ban

Activists ask Karnataka govt to not budge on e-cigarette ban

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-07-07 18:15 Bengaluru: Representatives of public health, legal fraternity, and farmers on Thursday demanded the Karnataka government to stick to its June 15 order banningelectronic cigarettes and not yield to the industry lobby.“Karnataka government has taken an important step by banning electronic cigarettes in the state. However, there seems to be under the carpet efforts being tried by the industry people to force government to withdraw the ban. They are trying to mislead the tobacco farmers who don’t have any connection with the e-cigarette ban,” said SJ Chander, programme officer, Society for Community Health Awareness Research and Action (SOCHARA). E-cigarettes, which mimic the size and shape of cigarettes, contain a cartridge containing liquid, which includes nicotine (up to 36 mg/ML) among other chemicals (usually propylene glycol or glycerol). “There is no tobacco content here. But the industry people are misleading some sections of farmers in the state to oppose the e-cigarette ban. This looks like an effort to shoot at the government using the shoulders of the innocent farmers,” said Chander.Mallikarjun Jakati from Karnataka Krishik Sangha, Belagavi, said being a farmer he was aware of the ground reality. “Some self-interested people are trying to create rift among farmers to attain their goals. We know that e-cigarettes are as bad as any tobacco products that are eating into the lives of our kids,” he said. Explaining the ill-effects of e-cigarettes, especially on youngsters, Dr Vijayalakshmi I B from Indian Cardiologic Society said the move to ban e-cigarettes followed recommendation of the committee on cancer prevention which found these Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems have "serious" long-term effects on health, especially those of youth who are getting addicted to the same.”.  “About 2 mg and 4 mg nicotine is allowed in chewables like nicotine gum for de-addiction purpose, but these e-cigarettes usage is leading to addiction towards it,” she added.Dr Upendra Bhojani, Assistant Director, Institute of Public Health (IPH), said states such as Punjab and Maharashtra had already banned sale of e-cigarettes. “It’s is an old tactic by industry to create confusion among policymakers through wrong information and use of front groups,” he said, adding that there was a need for the Karnataka government to enact a policy that "does not" recognise tobacco industry as legitimate stakeholder in tobacco control policymaking as there was a fundamental conflict of interest between industry interests and public health interests.