Public health officials and anti-vaping activists often use the excuse that more research is needed on the long-term health effects of vaping. While many would agree that the evidence is already piling up, a new study published by researchers from the North East Hills University (NEHU) in India further bolsters these claims. According to the study’s findings, e-cigs and vaping devices exhibit minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high-risk factors associated with combustible tobacco products.
Americans may not be aware, but India is growing increasingly anti-vaping. In fact, a previous vaping study conducted by Indian scientists in September of 2017 and reported in Hindustan Times suggested that teens who use e-cigs have double the chances of getting addicted to conventional cigarettes in the future. The most recent research out of India entitled Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) as a substitute for conventional cigarettes seems to demonstrate a friendlier attitude toward vaping.
“Our systematic meta-analysis of published literature compares the health and safety aspects of vaping using ENDS with smoking conventional cigarettes. We find that ENDS have minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high risks associated with conventional cigarettes.”
The findings of the ENDS study are also supported by new research conducted by Dr. Riccardo Polosa out of the University of Catania in Italy. Polosa followed a control group of young vapers for a period of 3.5 years to determine the negative health effects of e-cigs to the lungs and respiratory systems. By comparing their results to a control group of non-smokers/non-vapers, the Polosa team found “no deterioration in lung health.”
India has a somewhat checkered history with vaping. While e-cigs and vaping are not specifically mentioned in the federal penal code, several states now actively prohibit the sales of vapor products: Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir. Studies like the ENDS publication may be useful in helping to sway public opinion towards a more vape-friendly stance, which might save millions of lives.
There are approximately 120 million smokers in India, constituting about 12% of the entire smoking population on the planet. 30% of Indian men smoke tobacco products, and more than a million people die annually from smoking related illnesses. Not too long ago, national statistics showed over 50% of Indian men smoked on a daily basis. Even with rapidly plummeting smoking rates, India is said to still be considering a nationwide vaping ban.
India to host International Vape Convention
Another sign that the tide against vaping in India is about to turn is a report from The World Health Organization (WHO) stating that India will be the host of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP7) in November of this year. The WHO website issues the following statement.
“It is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India and signals a strong and generous commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO FCTC globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region.”
Representatives from 180 countries are expected to attend this years COP7, and the audience will be a very diverse mixture comprised of anti-smoking advocates, pro-vaping supporters, public health officials, politicians, and other state and local legislators. While the Indian government remains unclear as to whether it will modify existing legislation or policies toward e-cigs and vaping, the fact that India is agreeing to host the COP7 is a very good sign that it is at least keeping an open mind.
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