Association of Vapers India protests against the ban on e-cigarettes

The Association of Vapers India (AVI), an organisation that represents e-cigarette users, held protests in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai

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After the government announced a ban on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), hundreds of vapers, advocates of electronic cigarettes and medical professionals have held a nationwide protest for the same.

The Association of Vapers India (AVI), an organisation that represents e-cigarette users, held protests in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

Opposing the ban, the protesters termed the ban as “wilful genocide by the government”, saying “it will push current vapers back to deadly smoking and deprive the country’s 11 crore smokers of safer options.”

Earlier, the government had banned the production, import, and sale of e-cigarettes along with similar products on September 18, citing health risk to people, especially youth. The government had also announced that an ordinance will be brought in to make it an offence, entailing jail term up to three years along with a penalty.

The consumer body organised awareness drives in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata where government authorities and the police denied permissions to hold the protest, the AVI said in a statement.

Samrat Chowdhery, the AVI director and an advocate, said,

It is astonishing that the government ignored the stay orders of the High Court of Delhi as well as Mumbai, and even imposed bans on research. We will continue to voice our protest against the ban and organise more such protests in other cities of the country."

Now the organisation is planning to hold more protests against the ban and arrange awareness campaigns to tell people about harm reduction through e-cigarettes. Protesters have also signed a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wrote testimonials which will be sent to authorities.

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