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Don’t ban e-cigarettes: UK, Canada that have legalised use, are seeing a historical reduction in smoking!

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-KK Aggarwal

Tobacco control is a major public health challenge in India; cigarette smoking is the top cause of avoidable deaths, responsible for a million deaths each year. Whilst some of the government’s control measures have been successful, the impact has been minimal, with efforts resulting in a decline of smoking rates of only 6% from 2010 to 2017. In some states, such as Tamil Nadu, consumption is on the rise.

We need to make a clear distinction between the consequences of smoking and the consumption of nicotine; nicotine is addictive, but there is no evidence it is carcinogenic. The harm from cigarette smoking comes from the tar produced by the burning of tobacco, which releases thousands of chemicals, of which about 80 are carcinogenic. British psychiatrist Mike Russell once said that people “smoke for the nicotine, but die from the tar.” Therefore, there needs to be a clear decoupling of the two substances, and a realistic alternative available to support harm-reduction........

© The Financial Express