An association of trade representatives of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known as e-cigarettes, Monday asked the Gujarat government to reconsider its decision to ban their manufacturing, sale, import and advertisement. The state Assembly had Wednesday last week passed a bill to this effect and also brought in a jail term and fine for violations.
"The unilateral ban on e-cigarettes is wrong. We should be given an opportunity to be heard before any such adverse decision is taken," Praveen Rikhy, convener of TRENDS, told reporters here. The group is set to meet Gujarat government officials on Tuesday on the issue.
She said several countries had reversed such bans, and many had regulated the market, claiming ENDs, including e- cigarettes, were a good alternative for those looking to quit smoking. "The ban will adversely impact tobacco growers in the state which is one of the largest producers of tobacco in the country, and a significant exporter of nicotine," she said.
"The government should consider regulating the ENDS market so that consumers have a choice for better products as e-cigarette is safest of all nicotine delivery systems. Such a blanket ban will create a black market, resulting in sale of spurious and unsafe products," Rikhy further said. ENDS are devices that heat a solution to create an aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycol and glycerin.
E-cigarettes aerosolise nicotine and flavour chemicals through heating. Tabling the amendment bill in the Assembly, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja had said addiction to e- cigarettes, which are easily available and bought online in absence of prohibition on their sale, was harmful.
Through the bill, the state government has brought e- cigarettes under the purview of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act. Notably, the bill does not propose any ban on the consumption of these products..
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