NMC Directs Doctors To Refrain From Research On E-Cigarettes And HTPs Without Permission

NMC Directs Doctors To Refrain From Research On E-Cigarettes And HTPs Without Permission

The World Health Organization (WHO) on December 14 urged governments to take urgent measures necessary to prevent rise in usage of e-cigarettes.

PTIUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 04:47 PM IST
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National Medical Commission (NMC) | File Photo

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has directed doctors affiliated with it to refrain from initiating or participating in any research activities related to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) without obtaining the necessary approvals from the union health ministry.

The move follows a letter written by the directorate general of health services (DGHS) Atul Goel to the NMC flagging the issue and asking it to issue necessary instructions to the healthcare professionals affiliated with the NMC and the Indian Medical Association (lMA). The NMC, in a public notice on December 15, asked healthcare professionals to comply with Goel's instructions.

Goel addressed a letter to all healthcare professionals

In a letter dated December 8, Goel had said, "I am writing to address a matter of utmost importance concerning healthcare professional's engagement in research related to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTPs)." He highlighted that under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Act, 2019 (PECA, 2019) the government has unequivocally banned the use of e-cigarettes, HTPs and such devices in India.

"In light of this, it is imperative that all healthcare professionals affiliated with the NMC and the lMA refrain from initiating or participating in any research activities related to e-cigarettes and HTPs without obtaining the necessary approvals from the DGHS and the union health ministry," read the letter sent to Dr B N Gangadhar, the officiating chairman of the NMC.

"In this regard, I would request that necessary instructions please be issued to all healthcare professionals affiliated with the NMC and the IMA. I trust that the NMC and IMA can play a pivotal role in disseminating this directive among their members, emphasising the gravity of adherence to the ban on e-cigarettes and HTPs, and promoting responsible research within the healthcare community," it stated.

WHO's directives

A copy of the letter has also been marked to the IMA National President Dr Sharad Kumar Agarwal. The World Health Organization (WHO) on December 14 urged governments to take urgent measures necessary to prevent rise in usage of e-cigarettes and counter nicotine addiction alongside a comprehensive approach to control tobacco use. He had also urged governments to take measures to stop the growing use of e-cigarettes among people, especially children and young people.

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