Guwahati: The Consumers Legal Protection Forum (CLPF) and Consumer VOICE have moved State’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma and Health Secretary of Assam to ban e-cigarette in the state on the lines of Tamil Nadu.
Notably, CLPF has been working on tobacco intervention for many years in collaboration with Consumer VOICE- a New Delhi based Consumer Rights NGO. In a letter, written to the State government, the CLPF mentioned about the recent advisory issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asking all states and UTs to ban the sale of e-cigarettes. It must be mentioned here that taking this advisory forward, the government of Tamil Nadu banned e-cigarettes in the state on September 3, this year and became the 9th state to ban it.
In a release, the CLPF highlighted that according to GATS-2 (Global Adult Tobacco Survey) report 48.2 percent of adults in Assam consume tobacco in some form or the other in which 62.9 percent constitute males and 32.9 percent females. Since e-cigarettes are being used to lure youth in the form of nicotine addiction who then slowly gravitate towards tobacco cigarettes this ban is urgently needed.
Earlier considering the harmful effects of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known as E-cigarettes, states of Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh have already banned them. Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE said, “Such strong step and its strict implementation are crucial for saving youngsters from jumping one addiction to another. We sincerely urge government of Assam to ban e-cigarette to save precious lives from nicotine addiction in the state of Assam”.