Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
India bans e-cigarettes, citing youth health concerns (techcrunch.com)
66 points by hhs 25 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 125 comments



If we are to ban anything that could endanger public/youth health, then we should ban alcohol & driving as well. (In the US) It's absurd that same cities/communities that were behind legalization of cannabis also are the first cities to crack down on vaping. Why is one thing a champion of individual freedom while another is the scourge of soccer moms?

Make the legal limit for everything 21, I don't care. I'm an (young) adult and would like to consume the same substences humans have been consuming for 100s of years; alcohol, cannabis, & nicotine (tobacco), It shouldn't matter that I'm mitigating the harm of the worse one (tobacco). The goal isn't to be 100% safe, otherwise I'd also have to eliminate driving, red meat, etc.


This is not an argument in good faith.

The social ROI on driving is a net benefit, in our current society (95% of us would be dead in a few weeks, if all cars and trucks disappeared tomorrow.) They cause long-term problems, and we absolutely must be working towards a low-carbon future. Do you have a roadmap towards a low-vaping future? I assume not - so I'm not entirely sure your concern for public health is entirely sincere.

It's also been argued to me that prohibition did not have a particularly large impact on overall crime rates, but may have had a positive impact on public health. Depending on which statistics you want to cite, you can very easily make this case. [1]

So, no, it's not at all clear that prohibition was a disaster, and its entirely possible that had we let that experiment run a generation or two, alcohol consumption today would have been much, much lower.

[1] https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2014/retrieve.php?pdfid=80...


Huh?

They're not banning tobacco, they're banning e-cigarettes, specifically because there is a ton of evidence that youth get addicted to nicotine via e-cigs.

If you want to smoke tobacco, go ahead, you're still free to do so. No need to hyperventilate.

If you want to quit smoking tobacco, don't use e-cigs. Start using products like nicotine lozenges, gums, patches, etc in addition to therapy or other medical interventions. These nicotine delivery mechanism have not been shown to get youth addicted to nicotine.


> specifically because there is a ton of evidence that youth get addicted to nicotine via e-cigs > If you want to smoke tobacco, go ahead, you're still free to do so

So we should freak out about youth using a thing that's a 95% harm reduction compared to smoking tobacco, and not ban tobacco. Got it.

> Start using products like nicotine lozenges, gums, patches, etc

Last I checked these were half as effective as e-cigarettes for quitting.


>Start using products like nicotine lozenges, gums, patches

All options with abysmal success rates. It's so easy for people with enough knowledge to be dangerous and no skin in the game to support nonsense like this.


I want to be able to consume nicotine in an enjoyable and safe manner. It's not my fault youth are able to buy/access e-cigs, cigarettes, alcohol, weed, etc.


> red meat

Isn't the evidence of toxicity/carcinogenicity of red meat mixed?


Exactly, it's the same with e-cigs. Some studies show that nicotine is bad for the vascular system, some studies show red meat increases your risk for heart disease and certain GI cancers, etc. The issue is opticts, tobacco smoke is really it teams of the carcinogencity and people consumed a lot of it. But since vaping looks similar and it's not 100% safe, people want to apply the same level of danger to it.


This argument reads just like Mad Men's Pete Campbell pitch from Episode 1.

"You're going to die anyway, die with us!" https://vimeo.com/123757690


Basically, but we've come full circle; we would rather ban a safer alternative (vaping) than ban something we have decades of evidence of harm (tobacco). Why aren't we restricting tobacco sales to smoke shops? Most grocery & convienience stores still sell cigarettes. Why are we more concerned about the habit-formation/addictive chemicals than the actual carcinogens in tobacco?


Different substances are regulated differently because they have different risks for the population. Nicotine is significantly more addictive and harmful than marijuana which is why it is regulated differently than marijuana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drug_danger_and_dependenc...


>harmful

Need a citation here. I've read the literature and the current consensus (as far as I'm aware) is "we don't know what the harms are". There is a study which suggest that nicotine may increase cancer risk in mice, though it is not a direct cause and even then the study was inconclusive.

Your link is a chart which shows relative lethal doses of substances. Nicotine requires a "very high" dose, not one you would ever get in practice. Not sure what point you were trying to make with that.


I think we've hit the "moral panic" stage with e-cigarettes.


Or, alternatively, we've hit the "preponderance of the evidence" stage for e-cigarettes and vaping in general being bad for your health and governments are doing what they think is correct for the health of their constituents.


And I’m sure that everyone who currently uses e-cigarettes in those countries will simply shake their heads and give up the habit. Which history clearly shows is what happens when we ban a substance. Right?

Yeah....

Not only is there vanishingly little “evidence” that e-cigarettes are harmful to health, most of the evidence we do have is for knock-off street THC or cheap Chinese juice. That’s hardly a logical reason to ban e-cigarettes entirely. Especially given the fact that many of these people will go back to smoking real cigarettes.


The black market will inly grow when the substance is outlawed. These bans are effectively deregulating and needlessly endangering constituents.


Unlike with cigarettes, black market production of e-cigarettes sounds unlikely. They're complex electronics that need large factories to build.

Illegal importation from legal foreign factories will probably happen, but those foreign factories are going to be building to the same standard regardless, and compared to normal contraband like "plant leaves" it's going to be pretty easy to tell where they are coming from.


> Unlike with cigarettes, black market production of e-cigarettes sounds unlikely.

Wait, isn't that exactly the problem that's lead to what's happened here? Unregulated THC cartridges causing health issues in states where marijuana is still illegal?


There's a difference between E-Cigarettes and the consumables you place in them, I'm talking about the former while you're talking about the latter.

India probably banned both though the article only discusses the former, if so banning the latter is unfortunate since as you note banning it has serious health risks.


Sure, but clearly there's black market production for the latter. I guess I don't see why you think it's difficult for black market production to spring up for the former.

By that I mean: I don't think the e-cigarettes themselves are wildly more complicated to produce than the cartridges--though I might be wrong on that.


basic mech setup is a high drain battery connected to a coil with a wick through a high current switch. no rocket science here.


Um, no, not so much.

* https://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Vape-Pen-e-cig/

* https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Electronic-Cigarette/

* https://hackaday.com/2014/09/13/homemade-e-cigarette-vaporiz...

* https://modern-crafts.net/basics-for-building-your-own-box-m...

Note: mechanical mods are a great way of setting your batteries on fire. Most regulated mods are built around a relatively small number of platforms (https://www.evolvapor.com/), but there's no magic involved and if there aren't open-source hardware now, there will be soon. If you don't care about unit-cost, size, and scale, I'm absolutely sure any electronics hobbyist could build something as functional as most of the commercial platforms.

I can see two obvious consequences of banning e-cigarettes:

1. The Arduino brigade whining loudly that they can't get the parts for their plant-moisture monitor "because you could build an e-cig with that."

2. A rise in trouser explosions from improperly constructed vapes. (Contraband rarely gets UL listed, right?) I would like to officially nominate the term "jake leg" for the resulting limp, in honor of a previous attempt at regulating morality in the name of public health.

P.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KA40gBpDhc


It's not the illicit devices that have been killing people, it's the illicit juices. Those can be made in your kitchen.


Nah. We won't see as many regulated mods, but plenty of less user friendly options are easy to make. In the early days of cartos and whatnot we used to make our own with very simple stuff.


The logical reason is that is permits excessively high nicotine dosing. This was also possible with gum and patches but they were prohibitively expensive for most people to do that.


And where is this actually happening? In what numbers? Too much nic in your juice isn't even enjoyable (it's incredibly harsh.) This is a make believe problem.


Has India also outlawed cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco? If not, this isn't due to an preponderance of evidence and a care about constituents' health.


They are set to ban cigarette filters as part of the single-use plastics ban. India is, apparently, one of the worlds largest producers of cheap unfiltered cigarettes.

Not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the filters have little to no health benefit and are a huge environmental issue.


It is if e-cigs are causing a higher overall use if tobacco products. The time to stop it is early on, now. Traditional tobacco products on the other hand are so entrenched that it would take a truly astounding amount of effort to institute such a ban. I agree there's some amount of moral panic at play here, but it's not the only factor and maybe not even the dominant one.


Per TFA, there are around 35 Million vapers worldwide. The WHO (via Wikipedia) indicates that over 120 million people smoke cigarettes in India alone, with 1m dying every year due exclusively to smoking complications.

So, no, e-cig use could not possibly be higher, or have a higher health impact.


You misunderstood. I didn't say that e-cigs were, by themselves, higher. I said they may be causing a higher overall use of tobacco (well, nicotine) products.

Health risks are less clear. Vaping hasn't really been around long enough to examine life-long vapers for the really long term effects. Still, based on available evidence, I'd guess the risks are much lower than smoking. But if it converts non-smokers into vapers, that will increase the overall number of people at risk. Of course it can (and does) convert smokers to vapers, which may not reduce the raw number of people doing something risky, but it may decrease the overall pooled risk of that whole population.

So I don't know. From a public health policy point of view, it's not an easy equation to balance. What amount of new people with health risk is worth it to reducing the overall risk? Should there be such a utilitarian calculation? Should they try to reduce both the number of people with risk and the overall risk pool by both banning vaping and making traditional tobacco products harder/more expensive, or more education to prevent initial use? What about freedom to make these not-so-great choices, people make bad but not illegal choices all the time, why should this be different?

I don't propose answers to the above. I'm simply saying the India ban may not purely be a case of moral panic. That's all.


Are there numbers by age group? I know of people that wouldn't smoke, but got addicted to nicotine at earlyish ages via vaping.


What about the people that will go back to smoking cigarettes, a clearly worse alternative? E-cigs are preventing all those people from using traditional tobacco products, not causing higher use...


Sure, that is an extremely important consideration. But in the US, smoking has been on the decline. At the rate of decline it could approach nearly 0% in the next 20 years or so. Vaping may reverse that trend, keeping people would have been risk-free in an (albeit lower) risk category, at the same time it converts people who never would have been at risk into a risk category. It's not a simple equation to balance, not when the gains over the short term may work out to be losses in the long term.

I'm not offering this up as "the way it should be", that a ban should be instituted, I offer it up as an important consideration. Personally, I think we might do best by reaching for the best of both worlds-- get rid of flavored vapes the same way we got rid of flavored cigarettes, continue to push traditional smokers into the healthier option, at the same time convert our anti-smoking education & awareness campaigns into ones that include warnings against vaping.


There's much more evidence for fast food being bad for your health, and we're not up in arms about that one (collectively). I'm not _for_ vaping, necessarily -- and I don't like it in public: I'm for smoking in general to be banned from public spaces because of the way it affects other people -- but if you want to choose that in your own house, go for it.


People have a hard time seeing what they don't have interest in could have interest to other people.

Most people don't vape, so it's much easier to get on a moral high horse and tell others what to do; there's no consequence for the majority.

If they reacted to vaping the same way to cars, coffee, sugar, fast food, etc... they would suffer a loss of freedom. And people don't like to lose their own freedom, but plenty of people are eager to restrict others.

It makes sense for me: most people don't work on self improvement so imposing self improvement on others is a way to feel that society is improving.


I hate when someone produces a cloud of vape steam in the middle of a crowd of people waiting to cross the street. It just hangs there, a visibly stinking, redolent horror invading everyone else's nostrils.


This is all subjective. I personally don't mind at all, but cigarette smoke irritates the hell out of me


This is why public spaces have to target a relatively high standard -- everyone is bothered by and allergic/sensitive to different things.


Wait until you realize that describes normal breath, too.

:-)


I think fast food is a sort of health crisis in America, but comparing it to things in the category of "smoking" isn't fair. It's not like food, people don't need to smoke every day to stay alive, lack of smoking isn't affecting poverty stricken communities, etc. Of course eating and smoking overlap in ways; both require the consumer to take responsibility for their health and their decisions. That's still not an apples to apples comparison, though.


Poor diet is literally killing people by the millions. Vaping has seen an acute outbreak of a problem affecting a tiny portion of people who vape which will almost certainly be traced back to a manufacturing problem.


It also disproportionately affects lower income families/individuals. Very similarly to smoking.


not to mention alcohol


"Preponderance of the evidence" being 5 reported deaths from "vaping related" illnesses, 3 of which involved illicit cannabis products?

Meanwhile untold numbers of people have been able to quit smoking, which we know absolutely causes harm, thanks to vapes.


Funny how quickly the media disinformation outburst about those illicit vape products convinced the public conscious that there is suddenly massive evidence of general vaping long term effects.


Right? Completely insane, people are acting like vaping is the same as meth now


E-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking. Banning vapes while keeping tobacco legal is incoherent.


This is, perhaps, more about protecting established industries than public health.


It's an emotional response.


It's kinda sad because it's not as bad as real cigarettes, and makes quitting them a walk in the park for those that want to quit.


While that's the marketing view of most of the e-cig companies, we don't actually know if either of these claims are true.

#1 e-cigs are not as harmful as normal cigarettes It will take several decades to prove or disprove this point. However, early research points to this not being the case.

#2 e-cigs make it much easier to quit tobacco Again, early research doesn't indicate that e-cigs don't outperform other smoking cessation techniques.

The main concerns I've heard are from a public health perspective. Most tobacco researchers and public health officials are concerned that e-cigs are essentially a "better" product. "Better" meaning perceived as being less offensive, cooler, convenient, and less harmful. The concern is that since the youth perceive e-cigs as cool and safe, while cigarettes as uncool and harmful, it's seeing significant adoption in younger people which is undoing the gains from the anti-tobacco campaigns in the 90s. Essentially, the hypothesis is that e-cigs are a slightly less (but really the distinction is minute and trivial) harmful product that is significantly more compelling to people. The net effect is the threat of e-cigarettes is that it can do significantly more harm to humans that cigarettes (since more people perceive it as safe).


I can vouch for #2 (and many other people if you'd listen). UK scientists vouch for #1.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/28/vaping-is-95...

With this evidence, are you willing change your stance on it?


#1 you are just plain wrong about. Let's see your evidence.

#2 is nonsense. I did it personally and you can hop on any vaping forum to find millions more.


If they were doing anything for health they would ban actual cigarettes...


Has there been new evidence? All I've heard recently has been the recent cases of an unidentified lung illness (which seems much more likely to be the result of some new product on the market, since it doesn't take years to become apparent). Any new epidemiological studies? Any new direct evidence of harm? (I mean, beyond the long-existing studies involving burning vaping liquid at extremely high temperatures and discovering lower quantities of dangerous chemicals than you would find in cigarettes or marijuana.) Any serious study showing higher levels of nicotine addiction than cigars or pipe tobacco? (Cigarettes have had decades of engineering specifically to make them addictive.)

Are you sure this isn't just another puritanical flap?


That's not a good enough reason to ban something. Actually let me clarify that, it is theoretically a good enough reason to ban something, but in reality it just lead to speakeasies and NASCAR.


Please point me to this preponderance of evidence. I'll wait.


> “The data that we have largely is derived from the US’ experience and it the US the latest stats that I have before me states that there has been a 77.8% growth among school students who are at the 10th and 12th level.”

> She also pointed to “surprising” growth in e-cigarette use among US middle school students — up 48.5%, per stats she cited.

It's interesting that they are citing US data for this decision directly. Not that you can't learn from others, but you'd think the Indian government would be able to gather its own domestic statistics on this.

If I had to spin a theory about the reason for this ban, I'd say that this is more about preventing the urbanized middle to upper class youth - who are more likely to mimic trends form the US - from starting the habit. It seems like more of a political signal that "we are in cultural control" to conservative voters (who are mostly middle to upper class in India). Also, note the similar ban on flavored e-cigarettes by the US administration just a few days ago. Perhaps one government is taking political queues from the other? Wouldn't be the first time that has happened lately.

It can't be practically related to health, since as others have noted, the extreme urban air pollution is likely the primary broad-based driver of respiratory disease in India, not vaping.


Why can't it be related to health? It seems like it's an attempt to prevent Indian youths from developing nicotine addiction, which is probably a pretty smart idea even if it's done for culturally chauvinistic purposes.

Personally, I'm ambivalent on whether or not nicotine by itself is harmful, however, I would use the precautionary principle here for the following reasons:

1) vaping isn't just nicotine alone, there are other chemicals and the jury is still out on their effects, why take the risk? which leads to... 2) risk profile: the risks associated with not vaping are virtually non-existent whereas the risks associated with vaping include consuming chemicals other than nicotine and any risks associated with chronic nicotine consumption (both the risks we know and the risks we don't know about).

In other words there's no actual benefit from chronic nicotine consumption.

Now, I do believe occasional nicotine consumption can be used to enhance cognitive performance. Of course, the business model for vaping doesn't support occasional use. Vaping is all about getting people addicted so they're forced to buy your product even though your product doesn't benefit them beyond just alleviating withdrawal symptoms - symptoms which wouldn't exist if they hadn't been addicted in the first place!

For those who can control their addictive urges I recommend using nicotine gums, lozenges, and patches once in a while (as long as you're in good health).


>Why can't it be related to health?

I don't think it's not related in some marginal way to health. I just doubt that it will have much impact on health given the terrible air pollution that people are already subjected to, regardless of whether they smoke. The stronger explanation is the political moral signaling.

It would be a different thing if e-cigs were banned in a country that had very low air pollution and, say universal health care like Canada, because in that case the taxpayer is on the hook for paying for whatever the negative health effects of vaping are - and the connection between vaping and the condition would be much clearer.


>I recommend using nicotine gums, lozenges, and patches once in a while

All of those options have abysmal success rates. Here's a paper, 10% success over placebo.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8518571

>1) vaping isn't just nicotine alone, there are other chemicals and the jury is still out on their effects, why take the risk?

Because I enjoy smoking, got off of cigs by vaping, and I want to. By your own admission we have no idea what the long term health effects may be. Your argument is backed only by fear, not facts, but is easy to make because it doesn't affect you.


Any government that bans e-cigarettes without banning normal cigarettes should just give up and dissolve.


Which other risky activities should be banned? American football? Alcohol? Unsustainable consumption of natural resources?

I don't see a need to ban things that don't hurt others. I'd rather plow more resources into educating members of society of the consequences of their actions.

Edit: I was under the impression that e-cigs don't produce second hand smoke harmful to others like old cigarettes, but if they do then I would change my position. I was under the impression e-cigs are harmful to their users only.


I'm mostly pointing out that e-cigs are hugely less risky than normal cigs. So you either ban both of those or none.


Sorry, I interpreted it as both should be banned. I would say normal cigs should be banned, but not e-cigs. At least not before a million other things if we want to be consistent with doing what's "best" for others.


> I'd rather plow more resources into educating members of society of the consequences of their actions.

And how has that worked for smoking levels in Japan, South Korea - I would say they have pretty high levels of education, with no dearth of information on bad consequences of smoking.

Edit: I think people are assuming I am for the ban. I am not for the ban. I don't think bans like this work. But plowing more resources into the education system is just not particularly effective at preventing addictive behaviors.


Then that is their choice? Children play sports even though they break bones, people at desserts even though carbs and sugar are bad for you, people fly to island resorts for vacation even though it's destroying the planet.

On the scale of things causing negative externalities to society, e-cigs are not at the top of my list. Although, the smell of cigarette smoke and its effects on others's lungs is of course harmful to others, so I could get behind stricter regulations or banning of those.


I am not denying them their choice, nor am I in favor of the ban (I don't think bans work).

I am saying that education does not dissuade addictive behaviors.


I don't think it's fair to conclude that education failed just because peoples behavior deviates from the expected.

The traditional idea behind education is enabling independent reason and judgement, not promoting specific consumption patterns.


I didn't say education failed in general. I don't believe education works in dissuading addictive behaviors. Education isn't helping people pursue better diets, it is not dissuading people from binge drinking, and it is not going to prevent people from vaping.


If you measure outcomes, it has worked quite well. Japan's life expectancy is 84 years. South Korea's is 82. For comparison, the US is 78.5 and decreasing.


Measuring the outcomes of education regarding smoking with life expectancy is a big leap. The biggest difference is diet, and that is not reinforced in their education system, but just a part of their culture.


OP is obviously pointing out the hypocrisy, especially since vaping is an easy target and tobacco has deep pockets.


Smoking cigarettes hurts everyone within a 10 meter radius of the smoker.


Can someone who downvoted this comment please explain why they did so?

Passive smoking is indeed harmful for everyone in a few meters radius of the smoker, and they smell awful. Both these statements are known facts.


Yes, I should have phrased it better to make it clear that my point was that the negative externalities of e-cigs are nowhere near as bad as other activities, including regular smoking.


Are cigarettes banned in India?


No. All major airports have smoking rooms. So, if you are craving for a smoke, you will now need to smoke a real cigarette.


Does it matter? This is about vapes. Pointing at something else that is harmful and saying "What about this though", is unhelpful and lazy.


It matters because, if the law drives people to smoking tobacco then this could have a net-negative health effect.


I don't think the law is driving people to tobacco. The law seems to basically give up on incorrigible cigarette smokers who won't (can't, even if they try?) be swayed by the best of intentions and data, and trying to ensure that less well-informed people don't fall prey to fancy e-cigarette ads which don't do much to specify how much nicotine they contain and how addictive they are.

I agree that it's not the best of implementations. Unsure how effective it will be though, but it's one of the easiest to cook up.

edit: I fully support downvotes if you think this comment is insensitive, but at least provide a bit of logic so I can understand what I might be missing?


You don't have a clue. The alternative for many of (myself included) is cigarettes, not quitting. You can call us lazy, weak, whatever, it doesn't matter; we like smoking and we're not going to stop.


Yes, I don't have a clue. No, I'm not calling you weak/lazy/whatever. Incorrigible doesn't mean either of these things. You like smoking, feel free to do so. I'm just saying that it's known that nicotine, in general, is a bad idea. If you know that and yet you smoke, go ahead. But there's going to be efforts from any reasonable government to not get any new members to the club.

> we like smoking, and we're not going to stop

I have a feeling that you don't mean that, but would you rather have a bunch of kids thinking they're doing a cool thing (apparently a lot of kids used to think that about Juul not too long ago in the States)? For them, cigarette's not going to be a substitute as it is for smokers currently. Cigarettes are already that icky thing old people do and cause lung cancer (basically their favorite movie star told them so for 2 years).

By all means, smokers can continue smoking, but they should expect some backlash towards your new favorite thing because it might be less harmful than smoking, but is still harmful for potential new users.


>I have a feeling that you don't mean that, but would you rather have a bunch of kids thinking they're doing a cool thing (apparently a lot of kids used to think that about Juul not too long ago in the States)?

I do, and please spare me the "think of the children" argument. It's not a good enough reason to infringe upon my rights and health. Kids have and will do things that are bad for them. It's inevitable. I'm not saying don't try to curb it, just don't punish me at the same time. Make it harder to get for anyone under 21. Institute reasonable regulations for juice manufacturers. I'm fine with that.

>By all means, smokers can continue smoking, but they should expect some backlash towards your new favorite thing because it might be less harmful than smoking, but is still harmful for potential new users.

Banning it completely is far from "some backlash".


> please spare me the "think of the children" argument.

For the sake or argument, why? Don't they deserve some thought? Or are you completely insensitive to so many of the teenagers who've gotten addicted and can't go back to a nicotine-free life?

> It's not a good enough reason to infringe upon my rights and health

What's a guard rail for you is a potential car crash for the rest.

> It's inevitable. I'm not saying don't try to curb it, just don't punish me at the same time. Make it harder to get for anyone under 21. Institute reasonable regulations for juice manufacturers. I'm fine with that.

I'm sure that's what they said (and maybe did) about cigarettes. How's that going? "We like it and we're not going to stop" -- that's what an entire generation which didn't have full knowledge about the ill effects of smoking might be saying. That's what a million vapers from the next generation are going to say because they didn't have full knowledge of the harms, and people better hope it's just an addiction issue and not a health one. Kids will probably always do what's bad for them, but it's up to the adults to minimize damage. And yes, there's a gap. A Juul is going to reach middle India faster than the knowledge that it's addictive and should be handled with care.

> Banning it completely is far from "some backlash".

Yes, and I didn't say it was perfect; in fact I believe it might end up having an opposite effect. But the reasonable ways out haven't worked well. There's a very high probability that the government knows this too, and is going to end up trying all the steps you suggested. But at least the message is out.


>For the sake or argument, why? Don't they deserve some thought? Or are you completely insensitive to so many of the teenagers who've gotten addicted and can't go back to a nicotine-free life?

Because it's an emotional response that gets people all worked up and all of a sudden facts, logic, and adult choice go out the window. There is a wide array of actions which can be taken to curb child use which are far short of a complete ban, and let's not forget that this all began with "VAPING IS KILLIN PEOPLE!" headlines, an issue which has nothing to do with vaping in general or its long term effects.

>What's a guard rail for you is a potential car crash for the rest.

How so? We have no reason to believe that vaping is harmful long term. It's a risk, sure, but "car crash"? Based on what exactly?

>I'm sure that's what they said (and maybe did) about cigarettes. How's that going?

Smoking rates are way down. Why do you think it's your responsibility or right to dictate whether or not I can smoke?

>But the reasonable ways out haven't worked well.

What are those? What have we tried so far? Btw, cigarettes are still perfectly legal!


> What are those? What have we tried so far? Btw, cigarettes are still perfectly legal!

Why do you think that is? Even after all those full-pack warnings! Don't people know they're bad?! And to answer what we tried: Gutka (a form of tobacco) banned in most Indian states. Ban on advertising of alcohol and tobacco products. Full scale cancer pictures on cigarette boxes. Why not a blanket ban? Because, well, people want it, just as much as you're vigorously defending now... the ban on vaping is before the majority starts wanting that too. It sucks, but in the eyes of the government, it's something which is easier to defend.

> and let's not forget that this all began with "VAPING IS KILLIN PEOPLE!"

No, it began with people getting hooked to nicotine-delivery substances and not being able to stop.

> How so? We have no reason to believe that vaping is harmful long term. It's a risk, sure, but "car crash"? Based on what exactly?

Vaping might not be bad health-wise. Nicotine addiction is bad, at least on economic consequences (remember, this isn't a rich country, so for many people it's a choice between nicotine and other necessary goods), and might be multiple-packs-a-day bad, because you know, addiction. I'm not sure if I want to wait for multiple generations to get hooked up to addiction before the health results of multi-decades of careful research (sometimes sponsored by vaping companies) are out.

> Smoking rates are way down. Why do you think it's your responsibility or right to dictate whether or not I can smoke?

Yeah, and look what that took. Millions of people dying before a dent in the numbers (and let's not attribute that to vaping, at least in India, because it hasn't caught hold on that scale yet). A developing country can't see people die for that long for addiction risk declines. And yes, it is my right as a citizen to support something I know is curbing a bad thing before it gets hold in my country. You might be benefiting from vaping, but I don't see an issue in preventing large companies peddling more bad stuff to people, kids or otherwise.

Again, the last thing I would say is helpful is banning things, and I'm kind of starting to understand your points as well. But vigorous defense of nicotine isn't the right way to go IMO. We can trade arguments all we want, and honestly, I'm not fully antagonistic against anything here, but it is my belief that I'd like to make a smoke-free person's opinion heard alongside people who are struggling with quitting, or don't want to. I enjoy a smoke-free and addiction-free life, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it took me a lot of fighting peer pressure + manipulative advertising to be in this position today. It shouldn't have been a fight at all, but there's no company which is going to profit from non-smoking/teetotalism/whatever, and governments aren't going to see revenues from it.


>Why do you think that is? Even after all those full-pack warnings! Don't people know they're bad?! And to answer what we tried: Gutka (a form of tobacco) banned in most Indian states. Ban on advertising of alcohol and tobacco products.

I thought we were talking about vaping. I already said I was more than fine with restricting purchase, advertising, etc. in the same way we do with tobacco. But no, it's now a ban, and we've tried nothing.

>No, it began with people getting hooked to nicotine-delivery substances and not being able to stop.

That's ridiculous. Of course the current hysteria did. Whether or not I want to be hooked on nicotine is none of your damn business.

>Nicotine addiction is bad, at least on economic consequences (remember, this isn't a rich country, so for many people it's a choice between nicotine and other necessary goods)

Again, don't need to be people's nannies. Do we have real data on that or are you just thinking aloud? Are there no other vices that would take its place? C'mon.

>I'm not sure if I want to wait for multiple generations to get hooked up to addiction before the health results of multi-decades of careful research (sometimes sponsored by vaping companies) are out.

I'm not sure it should be up to you. That's my point.

>And yes, it is my right as a citizen to support something I know is curbing a bad thing before it gets hold in my country.

You don't know it's a bad thing. In a vacuum where it is the only harmful substance known to man, sure, but you ignore the fact that people are just going to go back to cigarettes. Why isn't your country as concerned with those?

>Again, the last thing I would say is helpful is banning things, and I'm kind of starting to understand your points as well. But vigorous defense of nicotine isn't the right way to go IMO.

I'm not out to defend nicotine. I wouldn't want my son to start vaping, but we have to weigh what we lose at the same time we discuss what we may gain.

One thing I'd like you to understand is that, from my end, I'm worried. I'm worried I'm going to lose vaping and will go back to cigarettes. I hope I don't, but I've failed before, and I have a family who is worried as well.


> One thing I'd like you to understand is that, from my end, I'm worried. I'm worried I'm going to lose vaping and will go back to cigarettes. I hope I don't, but I've failed before, and I have a family who is worried as well.

Sorry to hear that. I didn't intend to add to your worries; this was all for purposes of a debate. I do hope things turns out well for you.


It matters because it tells you what the actual intentions of the government are. There is a massive cigarette/tobacco lobby that might have influenced the decision since e-cigarettes were eating into their profits. Tobacco farmers had previously petitioned [1] the government to ban e-cigarettes.

[1] https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/ban-e-cigarettes-save-...


Yeah, it does. If you're addicted to nicotine because you've been vaping up to this point and are looking for an alternative, what's your next best option (aside from quitting)?


Driving people to something more harmful is a bad idea.


Yes it matters if they are making it illegal because they actually care about people's health, and if so then they need to apply the law equally to reflect that.


Not when they're directly related to each other.


black market e-cigarettes harms/kills some people

the solution people come up with?

ban legal e-cigarettes


Since this is a relatively new vehicle in delivery of an addictive substance it would seem prudent to ban it while possible before wide spread adoption.

India already has a problem with heavy pollution that basically amounts to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day just living in most of its cities. Add to the fact that cigarettes and tobacco are widely available, why even introduce more ways to destroy peoples health.


>Since this is a relatively new vehicle in delivery of an addictive substance it would seem prudent to ban it while possible before wide spread adoption.

Nicotine, without the array of other chemicals present in tobacco, isn't very addictive. There's a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of MAO inhibitors going around, they potentiate nicotine's addictiveness and without them nicotine is less addictive than table sugar.


Vaping is a substitute for smoking. If you ban vaping, you get more smokers and overall worse health outcomes.

Using just US statistics, you get the following result[1]:

> ...if a public e-cigarette ban reduces the number of smokers who switch to e-cigarettes by 2%, you’ve just killed an extra 9000 people per year – about three 9-11 attacks, or twice the number of US soldiers who died in the Iraq War.

1. https://slatestarcodex.com/2013/03/28/thank-you-for-doing-so...


Vaping can be a substitute for smoking, but a lot of people are now vaping who weren't previously smokers, especially young people.

Maybe it should be offered as a prescription drug to quit smoking...


You are assuming that vaping is comparable to smoking in terms of danger. It isn't. Vaping is incredibly safe. The only people who have gotten sick or died have been using black market THC cartridges. Smoking kills around 400,000 Americans per year.

If you make vapes harder to acquire than cigarettes, you will cause mass death. Cigarettes are available without a prescription. You can get them at any gas station, corner store, or supermarket. If vaping isn't as convenient or as available, you will get more smokers and worse health outcomes.

Again, a 2% increase in the number of smokers in the US is 9,000 deaths per year. I understand where you're coming from. It certainly doesn't feel good to let a bunch of teenagers get hooked on vapes. But you are weighing a hypothetical, unlikely harm against a concrete ongoing harm that is several thousand times larger in magnitude. One's intuitions simply can't be trusted in these cases.


Kids drink a lot of alcohol too. Want to compare the numbers to alcohol related deaths for those under 21?


Wonder how big a check the traditional cigarette makers cut to make this happen.


It's happening in the US too, and we're all falling for it.


i think they should just ban the nicotine, not the vaping.

as a person with a nicotine addiction, i can tell you it's a hard one to crack. as a person who has smoked, i can tell you vaping is hardly a substitute.

that being said, i know some friends who have gotten way worse nicotine cravings as a result of vaping more or using stronger liquid than what they'd have in their regular cigs.

something worth noting, in countries outside the US, you can get approximate dosage labels on your cigs.

something else worth noting, my own nicotine dependency seems to have been made way way worse by using hooka, instead of cigarettes. surely, this is n=1.

edit to add: i don't actually think they should be banning any of this shit... but if you want to prevent people from getting hooked on a substance that can later be further used to manipulate behavior (e.g. by adding other things to it) then you should ban the nicotine.

in the end, i think they're wanting to ban vaping because they want to prevent people from smoking thc.


>as a person with a nicotine addiction, i can tell you it's a hard one to crack. as a person who has smoked, i can tell you vaping is hardly a substitute.

I smoked a pack a day for fifteen years. Vaping was the only thing that got me off of cigarettes because it is far more enjoyable. Cigs now taste like eating a bonfire.

You should preface that with "IMO" because obviously it doesn't apply to the tens of millions who have successfully switched over.


e-cigarette marketing was targeting youth demographics [1]. They could have stuck with marketing to adults, but they got greedy, and I have no sympathy for these companies now that governments are coming down hard on them.

[1] https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/tobacco-indus...


As a legal adult, all of 4 of those marketing drives appeal to me, especially sweet flavors. I don't see how that means they are marketing toward a demographic that is legally unable to purchase their product. To me, this is just another case of moral panic.


This is just FUD. Those social media campaigns ended four years ago, the Sundance Film festival isn’t aimed at minors, and adults buy the flavors to help quit smoking cigarettes. I don’t know what to say about that 1 scholarship program, because I’ve never heard of it before.

Even saying that 31% of youth vapers citing flavors as a reason for trying vaping feel flimsy. Are they heavy or repeat users in any way? Do they switch to tobacco flavor in the absence of other flavors?


Nonsense. Honestly, how do people swallow the garbage argument that only children like sweet flavors? As you typed that out did you forget that you enjoy the taste of ice cream more than the ashes of a bonfire?


The marketing is obviously directed towards youth in certain circumstances -- for example they have packages that look exactly like Lucky Charms and Froot Loops.

Would you also argue that Lucky Charms and Froot Loops cereal commercials are not advertising to children, because some adults happen to eat sugary cereal?


So... let me understand this... the flavors are literally Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops, right? What else would they put there? Do you think adults don't like sweet cereal?

I don't think that is "obviously directed towards youth." It's only obvious that it's directed toward people who like Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops, of which many are adults.

>Would you also argue that Lucky Charms and Froot Loops cereal commercials are not advertising to children, because some adults happen to eat sugary cereal?

No, because those ads are obviously aimed toward children. They're full of kids and the boxes contains toys! Nothing like that is happening with vape juice (and it shouldn't if it is.)

That all said, I'm with you; bring down the hammer on that sort of thing. Get rid of the flashy packaging. Keep the warning labels. That does far more good than harm. Just don't take the flavor away from me if I want it.


Here's a question:

Are there any studies on the relative addictiveness of various forms of tobacco? IIRC, cigarettes have been explicitly engineered to deliver a high, short-lived dose quickly, while cigars and pipe tobacco, and apparently vaping liquids, do not have the same psychoactive effects.


Equal treatment of both; otherwise e is better than traditional one as it harms other less


I'm hoping that e-cigarettes decreases second hand smoking that I have to endure, which is affecting me quite badly.

If a person comes to my house I prefer that he smokes e-cigarette over a real one at least while he's visiting me.


I'm a life-long straight-edger who knows next to nothing about e-cigarettes except that it looks like they're much better nicotine-delivery systems which don't have the extra harmful stuff cigarettes have wrapped up, so please take all I say with multiple grains of salt.

IMO is a good decision. And I say this with full cynicism; I really don't care either way. I don't have many people in my circle who're smokers or vapers, and I've never done either, so I can't really relate.

I feel this is a good decision because:

- Cigarette and beedi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beedi) companies have been entrenched in this society for long, so they can battle things out for the existing products. Most people have started to wisen up to these though, so the effects on mass population are reducing day by day (education and those large images of cancer help). In e-cigarettes' case, getting something out before it becomes entrenched, is IMO, a good thing, however unpopular. It took so damn long for people to realize tobacco is dangerous. Better this info gets out quicker now, especially in a country like India where accurate and well-rounded information is hard to get.

- E-cigarettes still contain addictive nicotine. While the current war against normal cigs/bidis might be about the smoke and other stuff, the central hook is still an addictive substance. E-cigs have the potential to dial up delivery of this addictive stuff up to 10. This isn't good for most people.

- Say whatever you want about e-cigarettes. It's known that it's seen as a cool thing among kids, and the packaging is damn near perfect. a country could do better to avoid getting its future generations getting hooked up with a snazzy-looking thumb drive before realizing too late that their parents' money is now captive to fruit-flavored pods. I've noticed juul usage amongst teens in the US, and some seem hooked beyond repair (just like smokers are today).

I don't really care however this goes, I'm not going to be the one who'll be vaping or smoking or whatever so I don't have much of a stake in this (I don't even like the current politics either). But to me, getting something out of the picture before it becomes a huge issue might be a good idea (unless, like in Harry Potter parlance, where the best thing Umbridge did to make sure The Quibbler was read was banning it...)


Ya, who cares how many people this decision kills. It doesn't affect you, right?


Well yes, it doesn't affect me. Doesn't mean that my viewpoint is not of any value.

I'm not sure if this decision "kills" people. I know nicotine is addictive. I know giving up addictive stuff is hard. But if you think that having something which is less harmful for people already consuming more harmful stuff and more harmful for the rest who might be pulled into this, I'd believe that some action to reduce the damage being taken is not a unilaterally bad decision.

I try very hard to not get addicted to stuff, because I know it's damaging. But I'm not sure if it's a good idea to keep something we are pretty sure is bad (nicotine addiction) around just because it's an easy out for someone who's already doing harm for himself and people around him.

People fought to contain smoking, they lost. Clearly neither forced abstinence or knowing temperance is an awesome solution. But I'd rather ban something small which has the potential to get to the big bad real soon (e-cigarettes don't come with a doctor's approval as far as I know), because it's doable, than handhold people into something we know is not ideal, and can possibly be much worse.


Sign. India in the lead on this one and US lags behind.

I'm disappointed that with the big tobacco settlement (1998) they didn't start automatically raising the legal smoking every year by another year - and basically phase out tobacco forever.


They should do the same for alcohol, marijuana, and other addictive substances as well then. Why give adults the power to control their own lives? We know better, don't we?


Same with alcohol and caffeine and addictive prescription drugs.


And water.


Ban dihydrogen monoxide now.


Alrighties. Are they going to ban cigarettes too?


It’s good that e-cigarettes are not safe. There shouldn’t be a “safe” smoking alternative and we should never believe the tobacco industry.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: