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Last Updated : Sep 16, 2020 08:27 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Vapers of India unite to protest first anniversary of e-cigarette ban on September 18

The vapers will be seen holding online protests against the decision taken by the government in several cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The virtual rally will involve former smokers, vapers and their family members, along with global health, legal and advocacy experts.

As the ban on electronic smoking devices issued by the government completes a year, the Association of Vapers India (AVI) is about to lead the community of e-cigarette smokers or ‘vapers’ from across the country into mass protests on September 18.

The vapers will be seen holding online protests against the decision taken by the government in several cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The virtual rally will involve former smokers, vapers and their family members, along with global health, legal and advocacy experts, declared AVI in an official statement.

AVI Director Samrat Chowdhery, who has also been recently appointed to lead global consumer advocacy efforts, said, “We are bringing vapers together to raise our objection against the draconian ban by the government on September 18 last year. Due to this arbitrary decision, efforts taken to promote harm reduction to reduce India’s tobacco health burden have been wasted. In our country, where nearly a million people die of smoking every year, it is important to promote risk reduction tools and sensitise people about them.”

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He added: “Since a significant percentage of the population has been denied the right to health and choice, we will mark September 18 as Black Day. The government has even banned research on vaping so that we could share robust scientific evidence on the net positive impact of vaping. We have raised objections to the ban internationally too.”

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AVI had also led a nationwide protest last year soon after the vape ban in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai where vapers voiced dissent against the decision.

Last year, the Health Ministry had proposed an executive order from the government banning the devices in public interest. This, it said, was needed to ensure e-cigarettes do not become an 'epidemic' among children and young adults.

In a draft ordinance earlier, health officials had proposed maximum imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh for first-time violators.
First Published on Sep 16, 2020 08:27 pm
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