More than 60 specialists in nicotine, science and medicine have urged the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to reconsider its recommendation to prohibit e-cigarettes, citing a critical appraisal by experts which stated that the research body’s ‘white paper’ did not present a balanced overview and has failed to justify the ban, says The Economic Times.
Sixty-two experts from 20 countries, including India, have written to Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of the ICMR in response to the council’s “White Paper on Electronic Nicotine Delivery System”, published on 31 May.
It recommends a “complete” ban on such “alternative” smoking devices, saying their use can initiate nicotine addiction among non-smokers, according to the news article republished by HealthWorld.
In the white paper, the ICMR also said e-cigarettes adversely affect the cardiovascular system, impair respiratory immune cell function and airways in a way similar to cigarette smoking and is responsible for severe respiratory diseases.
In their letter, the specialists cited a critical appraisal co-authored by Konstantinos Farsalinos of the National School of Public Health in Greece, Riccardo Polosa of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University of Catania in Italy, and Dr Atul Ambekar of AIIMS, also chair of the Addictive Disorder Specialty Section of the Indian Psychiatric Society.
These experts, in “White Paper on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems by the Indian Council of Medical Research: A critical appraisal of the scientific evidence”, claim that the white paper fails to present a balanced overview of the risk-benefit ratio of ENDS vis-a-vis other combustible tobacco products and therefore, their recommendations for e-cigarette ban are not justified.
It was published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice in August.
ENDS are devices that heat a solution to create an aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycol and glycerin…
Full article on the HealthWorld site