Document Type : Progress of Tobacco Control in South-East Asia Region (Special Issue)
International Union Against TB and Lung Disease C 6 Qutub Institutional Area, India.
Since their launch globally in 2012, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) were positioned as a harm reduction strategy and cessation device but it is yet to be proven to have clinical safety or public health benefits. Instead, recent reports suggest that the tobacco industry targeted youth and sponsored research whose evidence was used to mislead policymaking. On August 28, 2018, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s advisory banned the sale, purchase, and trade of ENDS. A survey was done in two waves. The first survey was done between August 10 and 25 2018 all websites which sold ENDS product were mapped and documented. The survey was repeated (November 30, 2018) were after the restriction to trade on ENDS was proposed by the Department of Customs. The two waves of survey found that no website, whether comprehensive e-commerce portals or dedicated ENDS marketing platforms fully complied with government orders. National and states government enforcement agencies are currently unaware of internet-based sale of ENDS. Although some states have given specific directions to stop the sale and delivery of ENDS within the state through e-commerce, there is limited monitoring and legal compliance by seller. Public health advocates need to stay vigilant and monitor the online sale and point of sale retail of ENDS to ensure strict compliance of national and state regulations.