A group of school teachers and principals across the country have called for a fight against misinformation on new-age tobacco devices like e-cigarettes and e-hookahs to protect school-going children. The group called ‘Teachers Against Vaping’ have written a letter to union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, demanding the institutionalisation of communication programmes in a bid to intensify awareness against the adverse effects of new-age tobacco devices like e-cigarettes in all forms. The group has alo urged to educate and inform children, teachers, and parents about the laws which restrict the manufacture, sale, as well as possession of such devices.
The teachers’ group has expressed concern on the drive of international tobacco companies to explore and tap new markets, which has led to dissemination of misinformation on these e-tobacco devices, portraying them as either harmless or less harmful in comparison to smoking traditional cigarettes.
“The alarming rise of e-cigarettes, including vaping devices and heat-not-burn tobacco products, has become a matter of grave concern, particularly when they involve school-going children in India. The allure of sleek latest technology-based vaping devices and misinformation that these products are less harmful is a big threat to our children,” news agency PTI quoted the letter as saying.
“We urgently require robust and proactive communication programs aimed at educating children, parents and educators about the detrimental health effects of these products,” Upasana Mittal, principal of Raghav Global School, Sector 122, Noida, was reported as saying. Supriti Chauhan, Principal, DPS Gautam Budh Nagar, believes that addiction to vaping and electronic nicotine delivery devices is a scourge with far-reaching implications for our children.
“This issue extends beyond health concerns and significantly impacts the educational environment in our schools. Despite the ban on e-cigarettes and vaping devices in our country, the misinformation being spread that they are less harmful is troubling, as it manipulates the vulnerability among school-going children. We need to urgently address this issue to not only safeguard the health of our children but also to protect their educational journey,” she was reported as saying. Notably, the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, which came into force in 2019, has banned e-cigarettes in India.
(With inputs from PTI)
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