E-Cigarettes become an illicit business
On the 18th of September 2019, the Indian government issued an ordinance, banning E-Cigarettes. E-cigarettes came as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, the new finding is that e-cigarettes involve health risk, environmental impact, and increasing levels of addiction. Therefore, the Central government has banned the sale, storage, and manufacture of e-cigs. Once the ban comes into force, consumption, manufacture, ads, import and export of e-cig would become illicit in India. Preceding the announcement, 15 states and 1union territory already had banned electronic cigarettes. This small write up will tell you why India says no to e-Cigarettes.
What are e-cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, e- vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems are devices people use to inhale an aerosol. It generally contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. They resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes or pipes or everyday items like a pen or USB. E-cigarettes do not burn or make use of tobacco leaves.
More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are presently available in the markets. E-cigarettes have further names like e-cigs, vapes, or vape pens.
They primarily come to the Indian market from countries like the USA, China, Hong Kong, and Germany. Vaping has been endorsed as a favorable smoking cessation tool and a substitutional nicotine delivery device that contain no combustion by-products. Makers of e-cigs describe their product as a healthier alternative to tobacco. However, most of the e-cig still delivers a range of chemicals like nicotine. In the future, e-cigs can inflate the use of tobacco. These reasons would give you a clue why India says no to e-cigarettes.
Components of e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes usually contain
- A cartridge or reservoir which holds a liquid solution that has varying amounts of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals.
- An atomizer
- A power source, usually a battery
- A mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale
How e-cigarettes work
The process of puffing activates the battery motorized heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The person gasps ensuing aerosol or vapor. Since e-cigs work on vapors, their outcome directly depends on the product’s ability to heat the solution to a state where it converts into vapor. This procedure is known as vaping. The length of the puff, the intensity of inhalation, and the frequency of use may influence how one consumes nicotine, using e-cigarettes.
Impact of E-cigarettes on health
Even though it came as a substitute for traditional cigarettes, everything depends upon nicotine delivery. If nicotine delivery is powerful & rapid, it is not different from ordinary cigarettes.
- E-cig releases carbon monoxide, which is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases during pregnancy.
- Liquid vaporizing solutions contain deadly chemicals and metals resulting in a tumor.
- There is a high chance of heart attack risk.
- Added flavors in e-cigarettes, for instance, diacetyl, can cause lung disease.
- E-cigarettes intended to control addiction to traditional cigarettes. But e-cig itself can be a new addiction. Addiction to e-cig harms that part of the brain which controls attention, mood, and impulse.
There is limited evidence to support the claim that e-cigarettes will help one quit smoking.
Marijuana in e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes are used for vaping marijuana other than nicotine. E-cigarettes can also be used to vaporize opiates, artificial substances like flakka, and synthetic weeds. As e-cigarettes are smokeless and fragrance-free, they are a distinct way of using drugs. THC is the active compound in marijuana accountable for the feeling of being high. THC is used in vape pens to get high. Studies find that this liquid can be 30 times more strenuous than dry marijuana leaves. According to the Center for Disease Control, marijuana use acts as a barrier to brain development. It can also result in short term memory loss, slow learning & lung damage. However, there are many who believe that marijuana has many health benefits.
E-cigarettes and Potential Environmental Impact
- E-cigarettes belong to the category of non-biodegradable like plastics. So the item is equal to plastics and straws. As they are not reusable, they generate a large quantity of waste.
- E-Cig contains heavy metals like lead and nicotine. They leave residues into the environment. So, e-cig is classified as e-waste and biohazard waste.
- They act as littered electronic waste as they can be discarded anywhere. When thrown away, the broken device can release metals, battery acid, and nicotine into the environment. So e-cigarettes are not environmentally unsustainable.
- Soil bared to e-cigarettes waste contains hydrocarbons which make them infertile, making the crop hazardous for use.
Interim or Forever
Well, even after the ban, e-cigs are available in all leading shopping sites. Online vendors’ pressure continues to sell e-cigs even after the ban. The question is why we are so eager to buy a tumor at the cost of our quality life. How long will the ban exist? Will the Indian government capitulate to tobacco lobbies?
Parent, Jane. (2017). 5 Things Parents Should Know About Marijuana E-Cigarettes. Retrieved from October 31, 2019 http://yourteenmag.com/health/drugs-alcohol/using-e-cigarettes-for-marijuana/amp