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April 15th, 2016:

E-cigarette seller gets 3-year jail in Mohali

In the first conviction of its kind in the country, a shopkeeper in Mohali has been sentenced to three years in jail for selling e-cigarettes under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Additional Sessions Judge Saru Mehta Kaushik also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on 25-year-old Parvesh Kumar of Punjab Crockery in Phase 7.

Out on bail, he’s been given a month to appeal.

In 2013, the State Drugs Controller had issued a circular declaring e-cigarette as an “unapproved drug”. The “Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS)” device uses battery-powered cartridges to produce a vapour considered unsafe.

In the April 7 ruling, the judge noted, “E-cigarette contains nicotine in chemical form, which is highly addictive and potentially lethal. The youth take to such kind of addictive and potentially lethal products, and the offenders involved in promoting and selling such products should be dealt with sternly by law for the welfare of the society.”

Considering the plea of the convict, from whose shop an e-cigarette with eight cartridges was found during an inspection by a Drugs Inspector on July 3, 2014, the court ordered, “So, keeping in view the age, antecedents and character of the convict as well as the gravity and nature of the offence committed by him, he will undergo three years of rigorous imprisonment and pay Rs 1 lakh fine under Section 27(b)(ii) read with Section 18(c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and one-year RI under Section 28 read with Section 18A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.”

The substantive sentences would run concurrently and in default of payment, the convict will undergo RI for another six months. “Having done well in the field of tobacco control in general, Punjab, with this conviction, has shown the way to the entire country to end the nicotine-delivery devices sold in the form of e-cigarettes,” Health Secretary Vini Mahajan reacted. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Hussan Lal said, “E-cigarettes have ushered in a so-called ‘no-smoking revolution’, becoming a fad especially among the youth. They are marketed as a healthy substitute to cigarettes. There are a lot of misconceptions about their potential benefits but all this is farce. The most important ingredient of e-cigarettes is nicotine.”

Besides issuing a health advisory against the use of e-cigarettes, the FDA Commissioner recently wrote to the Union Health Ministry to ensure that Internet sites do not sell e-cigarettes.

This Statistic About Vaping is Going to Shock You

E-cigarette use is skyrocketing.

The good news is that cigarettes are out these days. The bad news is that tobacco in general is still in.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of kids are now smoking e-cigarettes, leaving the more traditional tobacco products behind. In 2015, around 3 million middle and high school kids used e-cigarettes. That number has grown significantly, according to the CDC, since 2011.

In 2015, about 4.7 million middle and high school students had used tobacco products in the 30 days prior to the National Youth Tobacco Survey studied by the CDC. E-cigarettes were by far the most popular tobacco product with 3 million users, while 1.6 million students reported using traditional cigarettes. Around 1.4 million students had used cigars, 1.2 million used hookahs and 1.1 million used smokeless tobacco.

The number of high schoolers who smoke e-cigarettes has increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 16% in 2015. In 2014, though, e-cigarettes were also the most popular method of using tobacco, which means they’ve been pretty popular for at least a few years.

But, more kids smoking e-cigarettes doesn’t mean more kids overall are using tobacco. According to the CDC reports, there has been no significant change in the amount of students overall who report using tobacco. What’s interesting here is the CDC says educational campaigns about the risks of tobacco use are likely to thank for a reduction in cigarette smoking between 2011 and 2015, but e-cigarettes are probably the reason the number of kids consuming tobacco is still the same.

The CDC pays so much attention to the number of kids using tobacco because those early years are when addictions form.

“Nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, can cause addiction, might harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco product use among youths,” the CDC reports. In fact, they say 80% of adult smokers first tried smoking by age 18.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, according to the CDC, which is why you shouldn’t try smoking in any form. Smoking can cause cancer, is bad for your skin and can cause a whole bunch of other nasty side effects. Studies have come back with mixed reports on whether or not e-cigarettes are any safer than regular ones, but the fact is that nicotine is still addictive no matter how you get it.

Your best bet is to avoid tobacco all together because no way of consuming it is totally safe.

E-cigs seen to benefit smokers

Electronic cigarettes may benefit public health, an Italian medical professor says, as they drive smokers away from more harmful cigarettes.

University of Catania’s Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology director Riccardo Polosa said it will be “irresponsible” to ignore academic reviews that show e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

“E-cigarettes have been a gateway away from the harmful effects of smoking for millions of smokers around the world. I can’t see any reason why this cannot be the case in Hong Kong,” said Polosa, who is visiting the SAR.

Polosa, a specialist in respiratory diseases, quoted figures from Public Health England which show e-cigarette use is around 95 percent less harmful to health than smoking.

The same figures were criticized last year after the Guardian newspaper reported PHE had taken the data from a separate study, co-authored by Polosa, which was sponsored by those with links to the tobacco industry. Polosa is also an adviser for Italian anti-smoking organization Lega Italiana Anti Fumo, which helped fund the study.

Undersecretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee last month said the government is considering banning the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and advertising of e-cigarettes.

The Hong Kong Council On Smoking And Health is also calling for a complete ban.

“Less harmful does not mean zero harm,” Antonio Kwong Cho-shing, chairman of the anti- smoking council, told The Standard. “If e-cigarettes are harmful, they should be banned.”

Baptist University research shows several e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals including formaldehyde and poly-brominated diphenyl ethers, he said.

Inhalation of the latter has been associated with a reduction in fertility, affecting fetal development and can cause cancers.

Meanwhile, the government has extended the smoking ban to eight bus interchanges at tunnel portal areas including Lion Rock Tunnel Bus Interchange.

Perspectives of US military commanders on tobacco use and tobacco control policy



Tobacco use among members of the US military service is unacceptably high, resulting in substantial healthcare and personnel costs. Support of military command is critical to the success of tobacco control policies because line commanders are responsible for implementation and enforcement. This study is the first to examine US military line commanders’ perspectives about current tobacco control policies and the impact of tobacco on readiness.


We conducted key-informant interviews with 20 officers at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College about military tobacco use and tobacco control policy.


Participants identified the long-term impact of tobacco use on military members, but were unaware of proximal effects on health and readiness other than lost productivity due to smoke breaks. Officers also discussed nicotine addiction and the logistics of ensuring that an addicted population had access to tobacco. Regarding policy, most knew about regulations governing smoke-free areas and were open to stronger restrictions, but were unaware of current policies governing prevention, intervention and product sales.


Findings suggest that strong policy that takes advantage of the hierarchical and disciplined nature of the military, supported by senior line and civilian leadership up to and including the secretaries of the services and the Secretary of Defense, will be critical to substantially diminishing tobacco use by military personnel.