Supporters of a ban on e-cigarettes and those lobbying for their sale in the country have come face-to-face. Voluntary Association of Trade Representatives of ENDS in India (TRENDS) has rebuffed the claims by various farmers' body and trade unions on the issue of banning e-cigarettes.
In an official statement, the lobby group for e-cigarettes said that certain farmer groups are being manipulated to mouth opposition to e-cigarettes without an understanding of the full facts.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems are termed as ENDS and it includes e-Cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine Flavoured Hookah, and other similar devices. E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco but heats the liquid chemicals into a vapour or steam that a person inhales. This is the reason it is also called vaping. E-cigarettes are considered harmful to health.
Trade body TRENDS represents importers, distributors and marketers of ENDS in India. TRENDS had earlier found support from some of the tobacco growers and traders associations from Gujarat who have been petitioning the government to oppose any ban on e-cigarettes.
"It is unbelievable that tobacco farmers, who produce the essential nicotine used in tobacco products will ask for a ban on a product that uses nicotine. That is like cutting one's own feet. Why would they harm their own business, or market? This is clearly the work of international lobbies hard at work at destroying Gujarat farmers' livelihood," TRENDS said quoting Bhikhubhai Patel, President of GTMA.
Praveen Rikhy, Convenor of TRENDS, termed the government's proposed move to ban e-cigarettes as draconian.
Earlier in the day, farmers' body Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) and trade unions urged the government to completely ban e-cigarettes and vaping products in the country claiming its continuation would have devastating effect on local tobacco growers.
"The tobacco growing countries like Thailand, Nepal, Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka have also banned ENDS to save the livelihoods of their farmers," Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) General Secretary Murali Babu said.
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