An E-cigarettes ban is likely to be imposed in Maharashtra. Almost a decade after electronic cigarettes were introduced in India, they are likely to be banned in the state, an Indian Express report has said. The health department in the state has directed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop their distribution and use. Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Vijay Satbir Singh had asked FDA Commissioner Harshdeep Kamble to draft a government resolution banning e-cigarettes recently. “We recently had a discussion with state health department on banning distribution of electronic cigarettes, and we are positive,” Kamble was quoted as saying by the paper.
An e-cigarette is a smoking battery-operated device that uses propylene glycol, liquid nicotine, glycerin water, and flavour to give the smoker the sense of smoking a real cigarette. The price of e-cigarettes starts from Rs 1,500 and goes up to Rs 7,000. Since last few years, health experts have pointed to recent researches showing cancer-causing properties of e-cigarettes.
The Maharashtra FDA had written a letter to the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) in 2015 to regularise liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes. After the implementation of the ban, the state will become the second state after Punjab to ban sale and consumption of e-cigarettes.
The Punjab Government had earlier secured a conviction against an e-cigarette seller. A sessions court had sentenced a Mohali shopkeeper to three years’ imprisonment for selling e-cigarettes under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the paper added.
As per Dr PC Gupta, director of Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, the laboratory tests on e-cigarettes confirm it releases toxic chemicals. “There still needs to be a large-scale study to prove the carcinogenic effects of e-cigarettes, but till that happens, we are pushing the government to form some regulations,” he was quoted as saying.
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Dr Sadhna Tayade, joint director of Directorate of Health Services (DHS) added that e-cigarettes have liquid nicotine, which is not a registered drug, because of which a proposal is being made for its ban. She further said that notification will be sent to FDA after the proposal is approved by the ministry. Even as nicotine in form of chewing gums is registered under DCGI, liquid nicotine, which is the main ingredient in e-cigarettes, has still not been registered as a drug in the country, the Indian Express report added.