THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 10 october 2019 (Nipping it in the bud (Indian Express))

Nipping it in the bud (Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2: Health
Prelims level: E-cigarette
Mains level: Measures taken towards smoking related issues and problems


  • The “ban on e-cigarettes is symptom of a larger malaise governing by the brute force of a hammer when the subtlety of a scalpel is required”.
  • We disagree.
  • The ban is targeted at removing a cancer that was threatening the life of unsuspecting users.

Problems with smoking related diseases

  • Smoking-related diseases rank among the greatest public health problems of the last century.
  • Smoking, it is feared, will kill around a sixth of the world’s population in the 21st century.
  • Commerce, social factors and the absence of state regulations play important roles in people getting hooked to tobacco. However, there are positive signs.
  • As per the second Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016, India has seen the steepest decline in tobacco consumption (17 per cent) in any part of the world.
  • There could be several reasons for this, but certainly not because e-cigarettes, “offer a path to quitting” to older smokers.

About E-cigarette

  • E-cigarette is a nicotine containing device that is owned or promoted by the cigarette industry. The basis of e-cigarette promotion was its safety vis-a-vis conventional cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes are claimed to contain nicotine minus the carcinogens in traditional cigarettes.
  • However, nicotine is even more addictive than cocaine. Currently, there is no treatment for nicotine addiction.
  • Moreover, nicotine even in its pure form is potentially carcinogenic. A dose of 30-50 mg of nicotine can kill an adult human.

Way ahead

  • Till date, there is no conclusive evidence that e- cigarettes prove beneficial in quitting cigarettes.
  • On the contrary, it is known that among those who use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, 25 per cent use along it with cigarette and 75 per cent continue to use it even after quitting smoking.
  • An e-cigarette, even if it’s proved to help people quit smoking, is a far more expensive proposition compared to medically-approved methods.
  • Fears that the end users will not be conventional cigarette users but youngsters who are the prime targets of the e- cigarette industry are not unfounded.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Bharat 22 is the second ETF (Exchange Traded Fund launched by the Government of India. Consider the following in this regard:
1. ETF’s are more liquid than mutual funds as they can be sold quickly on stock exchanges.
2. Bharat 22 comprises of 22 stocks and is managed by SBI Blue-chip Fund.
3. It gives highest sector wise weightage to energy.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: A
Mains Questions:

Q.1) What is E-cigarette? Do you think the government’s decision to ban e-cigarettes is the way forward towards an addiction-free society? Elucidate.

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