Government issues advisory against artificial nicotine products

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New Delhi : In order to crack down on the artificial nicotine products, government on Tuesday issued an advisory against the sale of vapes, e-cigarettes, e-nicotine flavoured hookah, heat-not-burn devices, e-sheesha and other similar devices in the country.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advisory issued to all the states and Union Territories, manufacturing, distributing, trading, importing and advertising of any artificially produced nicotine products -- Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) -- will be brought to an end soon.

The step comes after the Delhi High Court slammed the Health Ministry for not taking regulatory measures on manufacture, import, sale and trading of e-cigarettes in the country.

The Ministry stated that in 2014, a roundtable discussion on ENDS was held where health experts and officers of the health and drug departments concluded that such devices are hazardous.

It further said that such electronic devices that enable nicotine delivery or its use, are a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age.

The advisory also explained that in addition to creating dependence, nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus during pregnancy. It may lead to cardiovascular diseases and can also function as a "tumour promoter".

"It is also evident that ENDS are not approved as NRTs (nicotine replacement therapy)under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules...," the Ministry said.

According to the Ministry, Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have already prohibited the manufacture, distribution, import and sale of artificial nicotine products.