Himachal Upbhokta Sanrakshan Parishad (consumer protection forum) and Consumer Voice, which are working collectively against tobacco use in HP, on Thursday urged the Himachal government to ban e-cigarettes in the hill state.

In a joint letter to the Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur and Health minister, Vipin Singh Parmar, Chairman of the Himachal, the two voluntary organisations working on consumer awareness and education said the youngsters are being lured towards e-cigarettes by projecting them to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, which is wrong as they contain nicotene.

In India, e-cigarette is banned in eight states, including the neighbouring states of J&K and Punjab.

Chairman of Himachal Upbhokta Sanrakshan Parishad, Shiv Dutt Bhardwaj said the government should immediately impose a ban on e-cigarettes in Himachal, before it is too late, in larger public health interest. “It is a new form of addiction, which will destroy the young generations, as the studies suggest that they adversely affect heart, lungs, kidneys and the reproductive system,” he said.

“A strong step like ban of e-cigarettes and its strict implementation is crucial for saving youngsters from jumping one addiction to another, which also affects health of people around them,” added Ashim Sanyal from Consumer Voice.

Himachal Upbhokta Sanrakshan Parishad has been working for consumer awareness on different issues, including against tobacco use, in the hill state for past many years.

Consumer Voice is a leading voluntary organisation working under Jaago Grahak Jaago’ programme of Union ministry of Consumer Affairs, besides other regulatory bodies.