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‘Mothers Against Vaping’ urges Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani to take up cudgels for its cause

Mothers Against Vaping’, a body comprising concerned mothers, has reached out to women Parliamentarians

New Delhi, Oct 12, 2023
Expressing deep concern at the increasing use of e-cigarettes and vaping among youth, especially school children, ‘Mothers Against Vaping’, a body comprising concerned mothers, has reached out to women Parliamentarians like Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani.

In a letter addressed to women Parliamentarians, they have drawn attention to the distressing reality that despite the ban on e-cigarettes and vaping devices in India, their use among children has surged to alarming proportions.

The letter underscored a disturbing trend of numerous instances of school children, as young as 6 and 7, being caught with e-cigarettes.

“All Parliamentarians and especially women Parliamentarians, need to raise issues relevant to mothers, for the sake of the health of our children and next generation. Vaping is a pressing concern with the potential to jeopardise the health and future of countless children.

We earnestly implore our women Parliamentarians to bring this critical issue to parliamentary debates, speaking from the perspective of mothers, and ensuring that banned products do not find their way into the hands of our vulnerable children,” said Deepa Malik, Padma Shri Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awardee and a leading member of Mothers Against Vaping.

The letter highlighted that vaping devices have evolved with attractive designs and various flavours ranging from strawberry to bubble-gum, making them highly popular among children and young people.

It warned that this trend could lead to more dangerous addictions, as these e-cigarettes can become gateway devices to deliver harmful substances like cocaine and heroin.

Also, it noted that as today’s children are exposed to latest technologies at a very young age, it makes them susceptible to new marketing tactics used by international e-cigarette companies promoting next-gen electronic devices.

“Just as adult content is banned in India and not available in media, similarly, no media should be permitted to publish any material in support of e-cigarettes.

Such media outlets that contravene the law should also face prohibition, and any discourse on banned e-cigarettes must not be allowed in the public domain. Children often rely on such media reports and news as crutches to adopt this extremely harmful habit.

We, Mothers Against Vaping, applaud the government’s recent declaration that the possession of e-cigarettes in any form, quantity, or manner constitutes a direct violation of the law,” said Dr Bhavna Barmi, Clinical Psychologist and Head Psychologist at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

In a recent development, the Ministry of Health issued a clarification to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, emphasising the need for rigorous enforcement of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act (PECA), 2019.

While PECA may not explicitly state the prohibition of individual e-cigarette use, its overarching intention is to ban all facets of these products, including its usage.

The letter emphasised that the absence of penalties for users has undermined the effectiveness of the ban and has called for essential amendments to the law, which includes making the act of vaping or using e-cigarettes illegal.

Mothers Against Vaping said it seeks to establish an environment where children and adolescents have no alternative but to comply with the law, thereby safeguarding them from the perils of vaping and in this endeavour, women parliamentarians will play a pivotal role in championing this cause and spearheading the required legislative changes.(Agency)

Smriti Irani them

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