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India sets the tone in the war against the electronic cigarettes

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Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar is editor-in-chief and founder of Revyuh Media. He has been ensuring journalistic quality and shaping the future of Revyuh.com - in terms of content, text, personnel and strategy. He also develops herself further, likes to learn new things and, as a trained mediator, considers communication and freedom to be essential in editorial cooperation. After studying and training at the Indian Institute of Journalism & Mass Communication He accompanied an ambitious Internet portal into the Afterlife and was editor of the Scroll Lib Foundation. After that He did public relations for the MNC's in India. Email: amit.kumar (at) revyuh (dot) com ICE : 00 91 (0) 99580 61723

The opinion about electronic cigarettes continues to be divided between those who see it as a less harmful alternatives to classic tobacco and those who believe that the remedy is worse than the disease. Now, India wants to follow in the footsteps of cities like San Francisco and ban its commercialization through a new law. In the middle of this context, the United States records the first death related to this type of inhaler.

New law: The Indian health minister has proposed to ban both the production and importation of electronic cigarettes throughout the country. So much so that if this law is finally passed, those who fail to comply with it may face three-year jail terms and fines of up to almost 7,000 euros (500,000 Indian rupees) and 1,260 (100,000 rupees) if it is the first crime. This measure is supported by the 16 Indian states that to date had already banned the sale of electronic cigarettes. However, for the application to be effective throughout the territory, the new national proposal must come into force.

Blocking: With this new legislative scenario, the government intends to block the entry of agents such as Juul or Philipe Morris in the Indian market. If the bill was passed next November, the two most important producers of electronic cigarettes would lose the opportunity to open a business in a country with 106 million smokers. However, the mere fact that tobacco is behind 9% of deaths in India (900,000 people according to WHO ) leads the Indian government to assess the problem in terms of public health.

First death: Last weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recorded the first death apparently associated with electronic cigarettes. Although the agencies did not go into detail this death, they did put it in context by giving a figure: to date, 193 cases of people hospitalized due to acute lung problems have been reported and whose common denominator among them is the use of electronic cigarettes. 

As they have shared from the Center for Disease Control, the symptoms coinciding between the previous records revolve around shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and chest pain and, in some cases, gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Are they more harmful than we thought? Although electronic cigarettes contain less nicotine than traditional tobacco, the first studies that are being carried out to investigate its consequences, refer to vaporization as the main problem to consider. According to this study, in several cigarettes little recommended amounts of metals such as lead, nickel or arsenic are generated , by converting the liquid they contain into inhaling aerosols.

To this finding we must add the conclusions drawn in this study of the University of Medicine of Pennsylvania where they examined the state of the organism through magnetic resonance after first testing an electronic cigarette. The result determined a decrease in blood flow and a deterioration in the walls of vessels such as arteries. According to Alessandra Caporale, one of the researchers of the study, electronic cigarettes are especially toxic because once the additives are converted into aerosols they become harmful to the circulatory and respiratory system 

San Francisco and other cities. Last June San Francisco took a step forward and became the first major city that vetoed the sale of electronic cigarettes with a main objective: to keep young people away from this phenomenon that had managed to increase consumption between lower ages. These data added to the studies that speak of the presence of heavy metals in this type of cigarettes make that the proposal of India is not especially surprising. Countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Turkey or Japan have already vetoed the sale of this type of products in their respective territories.

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