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December 19, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a call for urgent measures to regulate and potentially ban e-cigarettes, aligning their treatment with traditional tobacco products. While some view e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool, the WHO emphasizes concerns related to ineffectiveness for smoking cessation, rising youth usage, health risks, and nicotine addiction.

Concerns Raised by WHO Regarding E-Cigarettes:

Ineffectiveness for Smoking Cessation:

Lack of evidence supporting e-cigarettes’ effectiveness in quitting tobacco use.

Adverse population health effects observed.

Alarming marketing trends targeting young people.

Impact on Youth:

Recruitment of children and youth, leading to potential nicotine addiction.

Aggressive marketing exacerbates the issue.

Alarming rates of e-cigarette use among young populations globally.

Health Risks:

Generation of toxic substances, contributing to cancer and respiratory disorders.

Potential impact on brain development, learning disorders, and fetal development.

Long-term health effects not fully understood.

Nicotine Addiction:

High addictiveness of nicotine in e-cigarettes.

Concerns about countering nicotine addiction, especially among the youth.

Violation of e-cigarette regulations in India under PECA 2019.

Arguments in Favour of e-Cigarettes:

Harm Reduction:

Seen as a safer alternative due to fewer carcinogens than traditional cigarettes.

Advocates for harm reduction strategy for adult smokers.

Economic Revenue:

Legalization and regulation can generate tax revenue.

Allows authorities to monitor and control e-cigarette use.

Consumer Choice:

Emphasizes the importance of adult smokers having alternative choices.

Supports the option of less harmful nicotine delivery systems.

Understanding Nicotine:

Plant alkaloid found in tobacco, also synthetically produced.

Acts as both a sedative and stimulant.

Used in e-cigarettes with varying concentrations.

Government Initiatives Related to Tobacco Consumption:

National Tobacco Control Programme.

Amendment Rules (2023) prohibiting tobacco product advertisement.

National Tobacco Quitline Services.

Increased National Calamity Contingent Duty on cigarettes.

New regulations for tobacco warnings on OTT platforms.

Way Forward:

Urgent measures needed to prevent e-cigarette uptake, counter nicotine addiction.

Consider comprehensive tobacco control approaches.

Suggests regulating and taxing e-cigarettes similar to “sin goods” to discourage excessive use while providing an alternative for smokers.


The WHO’s call for strict regulation aligns with concerns about the health impact, especially on youth. Balancing harm reduction, economic considerations, and consumer choice requires a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, adapting measures to national circumstances.


December 19, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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