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PM Modi draws nation’s attention to the harmful effects of e-cigarettes in Mann ki Baat

"People are unaware of the threats posed by these e-cigarettes. Therefore, out of curiosity, such electronic cigarettes find their way into homes," PM Modi said.

PM Modi with his ingenious outreach programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday apprised the citizens of India about the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes that were recently banned in the country after an ordinance was passed by the cabinet.

Drawing the nation’s attention to the devastating consequences of smoking in general, PM Modi emphasised that smoking causes diseases such as cancer, diabetes, blood pressure and increases the chances of other fatal diseases. He further added that the addiction caused due to the presence of ‘nicotine’ in tobacco not only poses grave hazards to health but it also makes it extremely difficult for smokers to quit smoking.

PM Modi then delved into his government’s recent decision on banning electronic cigarettes from the Indian markets and defended the move by claiming that electronic cigarettes are equally harmful to one’s health as normal cigarettes. Modi said that e-cigarettes contain liquid content that produces nicotine and smoke when heated. “A misconception is being spread that e-cigarettes do not pose any serious health hazard,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi further added that there is very little awareness among people about e-cigarettes. “Regarding cigarettes, nobody has doubts that it is injurious to health. This fact is known to the seller, to the consumer and even to the onlookers. However, there is very little awareness among people about e-cigarettes. People are unaware of the threats posed by these e-cigarettes. Therefore, out of curiosity, such electronic cigarettes find their way into homes,” PM Modi said.

E-cigarette or electronic cigarette is a small electronic device which is used as an alternative to a traditional cigarette. They are the most common form of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). It is a handheld battery power vaporiser which produces an aerosol or vapour by heating a liquid, and that vapour is inhaled. This provides an experience similar to smoking cigarettes, but without burning tobacco.

An e-cigarette is made up of a mouthpiece, a cartridge where the e-liquid is stored, a heating element or atomiser, a microprocessor, a battery, and some may have a LED to simulate the burning of a cigarette. There are some mechanical cigarettes also which do not include any electronic and is activated by a mechanical switch. The atomiser heats and vaporises the liquid solution, a wicking material carries the vapour to the mouthpiece through which it is inhaled by the user. Some devices have a push button to take a puff, while others are automatic which have sensors to detect inhaling and activate the atomiser.

The culture of vaping which is essentially the practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device was gaining prominence in the country. However, with issues related to e-cigarettes surfacing from different parts of the world, the government of India took preemptive action and approved an ordinance making the production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes a cognizable offence.

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