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Delhi’s Deluded Director

SK Arora, Director Health for the Government of Delhi, has penned an article that is more fanciful than Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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SK Arora is a deluded individual bent on eliminating vaping from his part of India. If there weren’t photographic evidence to suggest otherwise, people reading the outpourings from the Delhi Government’s Director of Health would believe he was a six-year-old child. His article for India’s Mail Today ought to win 2018’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Arora was behind the banning of the Dheli International Vapexpo event earlier this year, and arranged for the seizure of vape products arriving at the airport.

His efforts to maintain profit levels and increase the share price of the nation’s tobacco industry was later rewarded by the World Health Organisation – “the prestigious WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Award for his extraordinary contribution towards tobacco control”.

The public health official’s outpourings were daft enough before hand, but his latest contribution puts him off the chart completely. Arora’s latest post to his Twitter account is as wild as anything Donald Trump fills his timeline with, and writes: “E-cigarette/Vape/Juul are equally hazardous or even more harmful than traditional tobaccos. Be Alert.”

It is part of him plugging his own article in the Indian Mail Today, a piece titled: “E-drags are just as deadly”. In it he claims that the number of tobacco users has fallen in India, but this is being challenged by the uptake of vaping in teens who are “not aware of the health hazards of these products.”

It’s one thing for him to wibble on about the flavours, vape kit being “cool and attractive”, and that devices can be “easily hidden from parents and teachers” – it’s another thing entirely when he writes: “[ecigs] are wrongly perceived as less harmful than the traditional tobacco products”.

Repeating the error of comparing a Juul pod’s nicotine content to cigarettes is par for the course in such ideologically driven circles, but he goes on to claim as fact that nicotine is a “potentially harmful substance … nicotine alone can mutate the genome and initiate cancer”, which is the stuff of fancy. Nor is vape loaded with “lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents”.

Arora claims (from a single study) vape increases “blood pressure and heart rate and effects were long-lasting as compared to traditional cigarettes.” But this is nothing compared to a further consequence of vaping: “[It] can make young brains prone to addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.”

It would appear that Arora was taking cocaine and methamphetamine when he wrote the article.

What will come as news to Planet of the Vapes forum members, and vapers in general, is that “most adult e-cigarette users do not stop smoking cigarettes”.

Doctors, advocacy groups and researchers don’t escape unscathed; Arora brands everybody campaigning for vaping to be adopted as a harm reduction tool as “unethical”, because the 95% reduction in harm stated by Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians, and everybody else, is “completely a myth”.

Finally, he links vaping to “cancer, TB, diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung disorder, brain stroke, heart attack and many more.”

Oh, and a British approach to tobacco control wouldn’t work anyway because lots of Indians can’t read. While that means they are fortunately spared his mendacious nonsense, they are the ones who will suffer if this man continues to block them from access to a safer alternative.

The White Queen might have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast, but Lewis Carroll’s character would never have swallowed SK Arora’s tripe.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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