Rethinking India’s Tobacco policy for a healthier future

In a bid to tackle India’s persistent tobacco epidemic, Lakshmi Ramamurthy, Honorary Trustee at the Centre for Public Policy Research, is urging a reevaluation of the nation’s tobacco control policies, advocating for a shift towards harm reduction strategies. Ramamurthy’s call comes amidst growing concerns over the blanket ban on e-cigarettes imposed in 2019, which she argues fails to differentiate between various tobacco products, hindering potential harm reduction efforts.

This critique coincides with the recent Conference of the Parties tenth session (COP10) held in Panama, where global leaders convened to address pressing issues in tobacco control. Discussions at COP10 underscored the importance of embracing innovative technologies like e-cigarettes as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

India, grappling with one of the world’s largest smoker populations, faces significant public health challenges, with tobacco-related diseases imposing a heavy burden on healthcare expenditure and mortality rates. Despite awareness campaigns, cessation rates remain stagnant, prompting calls for alternative approaches.

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