Nowadays Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) also known as E-cigarettes has become an alternative to cigarettes.
A recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association contradicts this idea. The study showed that e-cigarette smokers will subsequently initiate cigarette smoking. The study has drawn this conclusion after statistically combining the data from previously related studies and systematically analysing it.
The study stated that ‘a systematic review and meta-analysis showed strong consistent evidence of an association between initial e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking initiation’.
The sample baseline of the study was 17,389 adolescents and young adults from the United States ranging between 14 and 30 years of age. The result showed that, as many as 30.4 per cent of those who were smoking e-cigarette were more likely to initiate cigarette smoking. Whereas, the possibility of adolescents those initiating the cigarette smoking who never have used e-cigarette before was 7.9 per cent.
It also highlighted the need ‘to engage in effective regulatory actions to discourage youth from the use of e-cigarettes’.
E-cigarettes are widely used for the consumption nicotine and they are considered less harmful than tobacco. Whereas, the hazardous effects of nicotine on health has been identified. “Nicotine consumption causes an increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders.
There is decreased immune response and it also impacts reproductive health. Nicotine also causes many changes in mechanism of the body which leads to cancer. That is why the use of nicotine should be regulated and the sale of nicotine should be under supervision of trained medical personnel,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor and Surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital.
The World Health Organization has cautioned India, as it is becoming a growing market for e-cigarettes use.
Since e-cigarettes contain nicotine and not tobacco they do not fall under the Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act.
That is why there is no regulation for the advertisements of e-cigarettes and online merchandise websites offer huge market space to them.
There are regulatory methods to control the sale of E-cigarette but there are conflicts in identifying its category.
While talking to My Medical Mantra FDA Commissioner of Maharashtra Dr Pallavi Darade said, “FDA Maharashtra had issued a circular 4 years back that nicotine lozenges would be approved by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) as new drug. Therefore e-cigarette containing nicotine would be a new drug as per definition under rule 122 E of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules. However DCGI has taken a stand that e-cigarette is not a pharmaceutical dose. So it would not be regulated under Drugs and Cosmetics Act.”