International experts have called on the Health Ministry to change its stand on electronic cigarettes and legalise safer alternatives to tobacco products available in India.\u00a0 In a recent advisory, the Health Ministry had asked the states and Union territories to ban the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS). ENDS includes e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine-flavoured hookah and other devices that enable nicotine delivery.\u00a0 The ministry has adopted a policy on vaping that will harm the health of millions of Indians and protect and entrench smoking, Dr Alex Wodak, former president of the International Harm Reduction Association, said. "Countries that aim to eradicate tobacco use usually get terrible results. It's much more effective to try and reduce the initiation and continuing use of tobacco products as well as encouraging less risky options," Wodak said.\u00a0Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, a research fellow at the National School of Public Health, Greece, said nicotine, while addictive, is not particularly harmful. "E-cigarettes and other vaping products eliminate combustion and provide nicotine in a much cleaner form," he said. In 2014, Professor Farsalinos and co-author Professor Riccardo Polosa had published a systematic review of the evidence on e-cigarettes. \u201cWe found they are much safer than cigarette smoking.\u00a0 The evidence since then has convincingly confirmed this.\u201d\u00a0 Professor Farsalinos said evidence shows vape products have led millions to quit smoking for good. \u201cIn 2016, I studied the data from the EU and found that vaping had led more than 6 million people to quit smoking and helped millions more cut back.\u201d Professor David Sweanor, University of Ottawa, said Canada was among the countries that initially tried to ban vaping products but recently switched to actively encouraging smokers to switch based on the science.\u00a0 \u201cWe urge the Indian government to legalize and regulate safer alternatives to the tobacco products currently available in India. E-cigarettes and safer alternatives to India's high-risk tobacco options should be appropriately regulated," he said.