CAGW Opposes India's Plan to Ban ENDS | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Opposes India's Plan to Ban ENDS

September 3, 2019

Doctor Shrikar Keshav Pardeshi
Joint Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister
Government of India
South Block, New Delhi

Dear Secretary Pardeshi,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) in the United States, I am writing to express our disappointment that the Indian government is planning to prevent the sale (including on-line sales), manufacturing, distribution, trading, importation, and advertising of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), such as e-Cigarettes, Heat-Not-Burn devices, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Nicotine Flavoured Hookah, and similar devices within India and its territories.

CAGW is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit, organization whose mission is to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and inefficiency in government.  Founded in 1984 by the late industrialist J. Peter Grace and syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW was established to follow up on the work of the President Reagan’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.

CAGW believes all countries, including our own, should look to Public Health England (PHE), which has recognized that e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn technology are valuable tools to help adult smokers quit smoking and save lives.

A study of nicotine replacement therapy, funded by the British National Institute for Health Research and Cancer Research and published in the February 14, 2019 New England Journal of Medicine, found that e-cigarettes were twice as effective as nicotine patches or gum to help smokers quit cigarettes.

A February 2018 PHE independent review found that:

  • “vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits
  • “e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more
  • “e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country
  • “many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette
  • “there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine)
  • “the use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million
  • “the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked)”

I also would urge you to you to read England’s Department of Health July 2017 tobacco-control plan, “Towards a Smokefree Generation.”  A major part of the plan is to not only permit but also encourage the use of safer alternatives to smoking, like e-cigarettes.  England’s health officials recognize evidence is growing that these technologies are significantly less harmful to health than combustible cigarettes.

PHE’s proactive view on the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) has helped more than one million smokers in England quit their deadly habit since 2014.  At the rate England is proceeding, PHE has predicted that by 2030, England will be classified as smoke-free, which is less than 5 percent of the population.

To be clear, CAGW is disappointed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approach to the use of e-cigarettes.  CAGW believes the agency’s recent proposal to ban certain flavors in ENDS products and its lengthy, complicated, and incoherent regulatory actions concerning the marketing of vaping products and other harm reducing ENDS products will hurt smokers who are trying to move away from deadly combustible cigarettes.

CAGW hopes that Prime Minister Modi and his cabinet will take a closer look at the benefits of ENDS products and not deny its citizens access to less harmful alternatives to smoking cigarettes, which are known to cause severe health problems and death.

Sincerely,

Thomas Schatz
President, CAGW

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