The Congress student wing in Goa on Friday welcomed the Centre's decision to ban e-cigarettes in the country and said this step should be extended to all tobacco products. National Students Union of India (NSUI) Goa chief Ahraz Mulla, in a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, lauded the Centre's move to ban e-cigarettes and said the step will protect the future of the country's youth.
The Union government on Wednesday banned the production, import, and sale of e-cigarettes and similar products, citing health risks to people, especially youth. It also said an ordinance will be brought in to make it an offense, entailing jail term up to three years as well as fine.
"The NSUI appreciates your stand to ban e-cigarettes, but at the same time we strongly feel it defies logic taking into consideration the surprising move of not touching the regular cigarettes and other tobacco products, he said. Mulla said the selective nature of the ban makes it problematic for the people of the country.
In this exercise what the government failed to mention with equal vigour was that conventional cigarettes are far more injurious than e-cigarettes, the NSUI leader said. "The nicotine consumption and the addiction that follows after puffing conventional cigarettes is far more than the one caused by e-cigarettes. This doesn't mean e-cigarettes are non-injurious to health, he said.
Mulla said if the government was indeed concerned about the youth, then "we strongly believe the attack should have been directly on the regular cigarettes and tobacco products". "Taking into consideration these points in the interest of the people of the country, the NSUI Goa strongly demands that the government also ban the regular cigarettes and other tobacco products which are the root cause of tobacco-related deaths and kill every second person who consumes them," he said in the letter.
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