E-cigarettes banned in India?
India’s cabinet on Wednesday banned the production and import of electronic cigarettes, a public health movement that is seen dashing the expansion plans of companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told a media briefing that an executive order will be passed to ban the products, which the government believes will advance tobacco control efforts in the country.
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WHAT IS AN e-CIGARETTE?
An electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits doses of vaporized nicotine, or non-nicotine solutions, for the user to inhale. It aims to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke, without the smoke.
“The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine when nicotine is present, are propylene glycol, with or without glycerol and flavoring agents,” the World Health Organisation says, adding that these solutions and emissions also contain some solutions which are considered to be “toxicants”.
In terms of shape and size, most e-cigarettes resemble ordinary cigarettes and cigars, but of late brands have started experimenting with newer designs that may resemble whistles, pens, etc.
How do they work?
Most e-cigarettes have:
- a mouthpiece, or cartridge
- a heating element
- a rechargeable battery
- electronic circuits
As the user sucks on the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a flavored, liquid solution held in the mouthpiece. The person then “vapes,” or inhales, the aerosol solution.
The nicotine content varies from zero to “extra-high,” or 24 to 36 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (ml).
The mouthpiece is a cartridge that is fixed to the end of a tube. A small plastic cup within the mouthpiece holds an absorbent material drenched in the liquid solution. The cartridge can either be refilled or replaced with another pre-filled cartridge when necessary.
The atomizer is a heating element that heats the liquid, causing it to vaporize. The solution can then be breathed in or inhaled.
The battery powers the heating element. This is normally a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.
The sensor activates the heater when the user sucks on the device. An LED may show when it is activated.
The solution, also known as e-liquid or e-juice, is made by extracting nicotine from tobacco and mixing it with a base, usually propylene glycol, and flavoring. Propylene glycol is used in inhalers, for example, for asthma. There is a wide range of flavors to choose from, with names such as traditional, watermelon, menthol, and lava flow.
Some flavors, such as a combination of tobacco and menthol, try to resemble traditional cigarettes. A number of them claim to mimic specific brands.