Health Ministry Launches Portal To Report E-Cigarette Violations


SRINAGAR: Despite the ban imposed by the Union government in 2019, e-cigarettes continue to be sold on e-commerce sites, even to children below 18 in Kashmir.

To curb this violation, the Health Ministry launched an online portal to facilitate reporting of violations under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Act (PECA).

Health officials told the news agency KNO that despite the ban, there are reports of e-cigarette sales through e-commerce sites and some physical stores.

An official said the government has been working hard to completely block the sale of e-cigarettes, and several steps are being taken in this regard.

Nodal Officer State Tobacco Control Cell, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mir Mushtaq, told KNO that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had designed a portal to report violations regarding the online sale of e-cigarettes, and Tobacco Control Unit Srinagar had integrated a website with the portal.

Anyone who finds any violation in this regard, whether online or offline, can report it on the website here, and appropriate action will be taken, he said.

He said anyone can report the violation through a simple 5-step online process and can upload a screenshot of e-commerce sites where the sale is being done.

“Once a person reports the violation, a unique ID will be created through which he/she can track and check the status along with the action taken on the complaint,” Dr Mushtaq said.

It is totally secure, and the identity of the complainant won’t be disclosed, he added. This initiative will help in completely blocking the sale of e-cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes and similar devices are battery-operated systems that heat a substance (in liquid or solid state), which contains nicotine and often flavors, to create an aerosol for inhalation.

The Union government, considering the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes and the alarming rise in their prevalence among youth, prohibited the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of electronic cigarettes, which include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat-not-burn products, e-hookahs, and similar devices, by whatever name called and whatever shape, size, or form it may have, vide the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Act, 2019, which was introduced as an Ordinance and later formalized into an Act in 2019.

The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine. Ultrafine particles are inhaled deep into the lungs, and flavorings such as diacetyl are chemicals linked to serious lung disease. (KNO)


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