To mark their win in the battle against smoking, over 40 million vapers from across the globe
will come together on Saturday to celebrate World Vape Day. In India, the representative
body of e-cigarette users, the Association of Vapers India (AVI), will hold a number of virtual
campaigns to speak up against the ban imposed by the central government late last year.
The World Vape Day celebration will see a global social media drive where AVI along with
consumer advocacy organisations from 34 nations will spread awareness on the harm
reduction potential of vaping and its effectiveness in helping smokers quit.
Citing numerous international studies and research that vaping is much less harmful than
smoking, the vapers’ body has been demanding that the e-cigarette sale ban in India be
rescinded so that the country’s 100 million smokers can have access to an effective means
to quit. “Banning a less harmful alternative to smoking protects the cigarette industry, in
which the Indian government continues to hold a major share. How can we claim economic
progress if we are still dependent on tobacco for revenues and taxes at the cost of the health
of our people? Risk reduction is a right no Indian should be denied,” AVI director Samrat
Nearly a million people die every year in India due to smoking, with the country’s tobacco
crisis costing the economy $22 billion (Rs 1 lakh crore) per annum from mortality and
Talking about the reasons for celebrating World Vape Day, Dhaval Gogate, an AVI board
member, said, “Vaping is increasingly being framed in industry terms, but the real story is
about the people, the smokers whom it helped in quitting a deadly habit and leading better
lives. We want to tell our stories of struggle and success to the world and highlight that there
is a human cost to denying people a safer alternative.”
Gogate pointed to studies that show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than combustible
cigarettes and have proved to be beneficial in reducing health inequalities caused due to
smoking. E-cigarettes also don’t come with the harms associated with secondhand smoking,
which kills 850,000 people each year, he said.
On May 30, AVI will organise a live stream where vapers will tell their success stories, along
with twitter and email campaigns to sensitise lawmakers, media and the general public on
the health and human aspects of vaping. Globally, social media campaigns and online rallies
will focus on awareness and pushing back against misinformation.
AVI page: www.vapeindia.org/worldvapeday Global page: www.worldvapeday.org
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