An NGO has written to the Prime Minister's Office highlighting the need for a regulatory framework for vaping products so that they can be used as an alternative to combustible tobacco products like cigarettes. The Heart Care Foundation of India also marked the letter to the Ministry of Health and state health departments on policies and regulations of vaping products, including e-cigarettes, based on a consensus statement signed by leading medical practitioners, which is scheduled to be published in the April edition of Indian Journal of Clinical Practice.
The consensus statement shared on the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice website highlights the need for a regulatory framework for vaping products, which allow adults to access quality-controlled products in their efforts to stop the use of combustible smoking with the objective to reduce harm. The letter urges the government to ensure that the policy for vaping products addresses issues like making such products available to smokers above the age of 21, safeguarding pregnant women from initiation and use through awareness campaigns and quality control, among others.
Dr KK Aggarwal, president of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), said despite efforts to reduce tobacco burden in India by means of taxation, stringent labelling requirements, etc, cigarette volumes have not witnessed any significant decline. "The HCFI and all the signatories of the letter including some eminent medical practitioners such as PK Julka, TS Kler and Ashok Seth have always supported smokers in their efforts to quit smoking, regardless of the approach, giving their health and well-being paramount importance," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)