Students across India appeal to PM to enforce ban on e-cigarettes

Delhi: Over 1000 students and teachers along with several public health organisations have appealed to the prime minister to enforce a complete ban on and other e-cigarettes electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). In a letter, they said there is gross misinformation about harmful effects of these products among adolescents as they perceive these as “fun devices” that are safe. “We are school students and are extremely concerned about a new type of product called e-cigarettes that is gaining alarming popularity among our peers. We find that students as young as 13 are using e-cigarettes as a fun device and later on getting addicted to it. There is lot of misinformation about their harmful effects even among parents and teachers,” a student representative of 1000 school students said in the letter. A recent study, ‘Emerging Forms of Tobacco Use in India’, by HRIDAY-SHAN, a voluntary organisation of social scientists, to gauge perceptions of ENDS and e-cigarettes amongst school and college students revealed that ENDS products have been gaining popularity among the youth and students as young as those studying in class six and seven were found to be carrying e-cigarettes in their school bags. Last month, several doctors had written to the Prime Minister seeking a ban on these devices before it becomes an “epidemic in India”, especially among the youth.