Despite ban, e-cigarettes sold through e-commerce sites

Tobacco Control Cell Kashmir integrates website to report violations

Srinagar— Despite the ban imposed by the Union government in 2019, e-cigarettes continue to be sold on e-commerce sites, even to children below 18 in Kashmir.

To curb this violation, the Health Ministry launched an online portal to facilitate reporting of violations under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act (PECA).

The health officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that despite the ban, there are reports that the sale of e-cigarettes is being done through e-commerce sites. They said the sales are being done at some stores as well.

An official said the government has been working hard to completely block the sale of e-cigarettes and several steps are being taken in this regard.

Nodal Officer State Tobacco Control Cell, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mir Mushtaq told KNO that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had designed a portal to report violations regarding the sale of e-cigarettes online and Tobacco Control Unit Srinagar had integrated a website with the portal.

Anyone who finds any violation in this regard whether online or offline can report it on the website and accordingly, action would be taken, he said.

He said anyone can report the violation through a simple 5-step process online and can upload a screenshot of e-commerce sites through which sale is being done.

“Once a person reports the violation, a unique ID will be created through which he/she can track, and check the status along with action taken on the complaint, Dr Mushtaq said.

It is totally secure and the identity of the complainant won’t be disclosed, he said, adding it will help in completely blocking the sale of e-cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes and similar devices are battery-operated systems that heat a substance (in liquid or solid state), which contains nicotine and often flavours, to create an aerosol for inhalation.

The Union government, considering the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes and the alarming rise in their prevalence among youth, prohibited the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement, of electronic cigarettes, which include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat not burn Products, e-hookah and the like devices, by whatever name called and whatever shape, size or form it may have, vides the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act, 2019, which was introduced as an Ordinance and later formalised into an Act in 2019.

The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine. Ultrafine particles are to be inhaled deep into the lungs, and flavourings such as diacetyl is a chemical linked to serious lung disease—(KNO)

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a Pulwama based journalist, currently south head with News agency KNO and owner of The Kashmir Scroll

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