The Hindu Editorial 16th Jan 2017
Technology is able to change anything related to our life. Now a days technology has changed the way of something with the introduction of e-cigarette for people trying to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine and not tobacco. So, it will not fall within the ambit of cigarettes and other tobacco products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, COTPA. Under this act it is mandatory to publish warnings of harms can be caused by Tobacco.
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA, 2003 is an Act of Parliament of India enacted in 2003 to prohibit advertisement of, and to provide for the regulation of trade and commerce in, and production, supply and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products in India. This Act was enacted by the Parliament to give effect to the Resolution passed by the 39th World Health Assembly, urging the member states to implement measures to provide non-smokers protection from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke.
In our country production, sale and revenue generation through e-cigarettes is growing since e-cigarettes have been introduced.
In our ground 26 prominent e-commerce websites are in the business of selling e-cigarettes but most of the e-companies are selling without having no health warning despite the fact that e-cigarettes contain nicotine.
Some Companies which comprises 30 percent of database display warning but that is not easily accessible. This warning convey the massage that nicotine carries addictive property and e-cigarettes are not meant for non-smokers.
The mentioned warning doesn’t talk about the health problems other then addiction and this incorrect information is displayed at the bottom of web page that is not easy to notice.
It has become essential to mention health warning visible and clear on the web page where these products are kept for sale, because previous survey (2009-10) suggests that tobacco control law mainly pictorial health warnings and advertisements under COPTA has shown decline in the number of people who smoke.
What India need to do?
- Although Indian government has been realized bad consequences of e-cigarettes and has decided to ban such products but there is not states governments are adopting different routes to implement the notice issued by central government. It shows that we need to have defined clear cut policy for nation as a whole.
- Along with uniform approach to deal with this problem, there must be quick action from government side against those companies are not abiding by laws.
- Government should also commission independent scientific research on the benefits and risks posed by these products.