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Groups trying to mislead on e-cigarette ban: Farmers’ body

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New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Demanding a ban on e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’ products, the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) on Tuesday said that certain parties are trying to mislead policy makers and are causing confusion with the propaganda that banning e-cigarettes and vaping products would negatively impact industry and Indian agriculture.

“There is a propaganda being made that the farmers would lose out if there is a ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products in India,” FAIFA said in a statement.

Murali Babu, General Secretary, FAIFA said: “The argument being used is that there would be loss of export potential of nicotine, which would negatively impact farmers. This is totally incorrect as there are no restrictions on the export of nicotine in any form and neither new restrictions on exports are being reported.”

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As per that organisation, tobacco dust, which is a residue produced while processing chewing and ‘bidi’ tobacco, is currently used as raw material to manufacture nicotine.

No fresh quantity of tobacco is produced by farmers to extract nicotine, it said, adding that even if fresh tobacco leaves are used, currently there is surplus availability to meet the demand for nicotine exports.

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Tobacco farmers across India do not support these new generation products such e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn and so on, as extraction of nicotine from tobacco for products like electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) happens largely outside India, from the tobaccos grown outside the country.

The use of ENDS in India would hugely impact livelihood of the Indian tobacco farmers, FAIFA said. These farmers are already under stress due to excessive regulation and taxation.

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“They would be further stressed by the introduction and marketing of these products, which do not use Indian tobaccos. Tobacco growing countries like Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico etc. have already banned ENDS to protect the interest of their farmers,” it said.

–IANS

rrb/bc

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