The Rajasthan Department of Health is conducting a study on the dangerousness of electronic cigarettes. If the study is able to demonstrate the harmful effects of vaping, official measures will be taken to prohibit the consumption and sale of e-cigarettes in the Indian state.
This news is both surprising and worrying. Indeed, many studies conducted throughout the world have already highlighted the benefits of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes.
There are 13.5 million smokers in India and more and more women are smoking each year. The question is: why does the government in Rajasthan want to take such a firm stance on vaping when tobacco, which is far more harmful, is so easily accessible?
The controversy grows between supporters and detractors of the new legislation
Certain anti-tobacco associations have welcomed the decision. Moreover, other Indian states have already passed legislation to prohibit the commercialization of e-cigarettes. Currently in Rajasthan, vape devices are still sold in medical stores and online.
For their part, the majority of Indian scientists protest the proposed legislation. They are also asking authorities to facilitate access to tobacco substitutes. Already last September, Dr. Siddiqi and Dr. Sharan, two big names in medical research in India, wrote a letter to various members of the Indian government. Their objective was to underline the importance of vaping devices for people trying to quit smoking. Numerous epidemiological studies have shown that legalizing e-cigarettes reduces the rate of smoking—the United Kingdom is a noteworthy example.
Unfortunately, disinformation is spreading. A recent article published in the Times of India adopted the thoughts of an oncologist from Jodhpur. He said that e-cigarettes are as harmful as tobacco, which is a complete contradiction of the data provided by most research in the field.