Kashmir Crisis for Vaping

Posted 16th May 2018 by Dave Cross
The Association of Vapers India (AVI) has struck out against what it sees as the use of junk science to justify the ban on vaping in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, as the state continues to attack harm reduction and common sense, cigarettes remain freely available and on sale.

The AVI’s vision is to help people access fair and balanced information about quitting smoking. It provides resources and tools on the website to smokers begin and complete their quit journey. It claims to have access to “40,000 vapers through independent vendors, and hope to bring people from different walks of life together in the fight against tobacco.”

The non-profit vape advocacy group is saddened by the continuation of the attack on vaping in Jammu and Kashmir. It advises: “A state like Jammu & Kashmir with high smoking population can do well to heed the direction UK, EU and US are taking in mitigating harm from smoking by encouraging smokers to shift. We hope you will reconsider. Here is voluminous research on ecigs: http://vapeindia.org/research/

The ban, announced last year, has now come into effect with the signed order.

The AVI said: “Jammu and Kashmir, the state with most smokers at 27% of population, just banned 'the use' of ecigs citing junk science.” Then, calling to the state’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the AVI ask: “Cigarettes contain nicotine too, why haven't you banned them?”

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The organisation points out rhetorically, citing a study: “Popcorn lung from ecigs is a hoax that has long been debunked. Cigarettes contain hundreds of times more diacetyl than ecigs, but no one has ever got bronchiolitis obliterans from smoking, so how likely is it that one will get it from ecigs?”

It is aware that vaping is said to be 95% safer by Public Health England, and highlights: “A UK government-backed study of 60,000 youths found no significant uptake of ecigs among those who didn't already smoke, while another study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine came to the same conclusion.”

Stating that vaping saves lives, it adds: “It is easy to see why ecigs are safer. What causes harm in smoking is the tar produced when tobacco is burnt. In ecigs a liquid is vapourised, there is no combustion, and hence no tar. Nicotine, though habit-forming and has ill effects, by itself doesn't cause cancer.”

“The state can benefit from regulation that keeps ecigs out of the hands of minors and youth, just as cigarettes, but help smokers to switch to less harmful methods. An outright ban steals the right of people to live healthier lives, while protecting the tobacco industry.”

How can such a situation exist? Surely it hasn’t got something to do with where the state of Jammu and Kashmir is investing its money?

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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