The ban on e-cigarettes in Telangana state is ‘under consideration’ as the health and family welfare department of the state is waiting for more views before finally heeding the advice of the Centre.The Union ministry of health and family welfare on August 2018 asked all state governments to ensure that Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are not sold, manufactured, distributed, traded or advertised in their states. To date, 12 states in the country have implemented the order.
According to sources, the file on ENDS has been ‘under consideration’ in the state health department from September 2018.A senior health official of the state department explained, “Tobacco has a history in both Telugu states. There are tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh and there are beedi workers in Telangana districts. Files have to be kept 'under consideration' when factors such as manpower, employment and also the revenue from taxes collected by the state government are involved.”
Dr M. D. Srikanth of the Indian Dental Association says, “tobacco companies are trying new ways to market their products by saying that e-cigarettes are safe but that is not true. In the case of ENDS the nicotine is inhaled and that is harmful. Nicotine is an addiction in any form.”
The traditional tobacco use in Telangana is 17.8 per cent in adults of which 8.3 per cent are cigarette smokers, 4.2 per cent are beedi smokers and 5.2 per cent are smokeless tobacco users. The total number of tobacco smokers in India is 28.6 per cent, of which four per cent are cigarette smokers, 7.7 per cent beedi smokers and 21.4 per cent use smokeless tobacco.