The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken a decisive step to address the pressing issue of e-cigarette use among students in educational institutions and called on DGP Jaspal Singh to ensure strict enforcement of the ban in the State. The Commission has also sought a compliance report from Goa Police within one month.
The Commission, in its letter to the DGP, said that recent incidents on the alarming rise of vaping among students have added to existing challenges posed by substance abuse within educational institutions in Goa.
Vapes are being aggressively marketed in the state
The Commission’s letter highlights the fact that fancy electronic vaping devices are being aggressively marketed as trendy and safe by the tobacco industry.
“A search online yields several results of stores in Goa, where e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and e-cigarette refills are sold either offline or online to students. The use of these products with attractive appearances and multiple flavors has increased exponentially among students in educational institutions in Goa and can be the gateway for entry into higher levels of substances and addiction and therefore must be stopped,” Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Peter Borges said.
E-cigarettes were banned by the Govt in 2019
He further added that in the interest of public health, electronic cigarettes were banned by the Union Government in September 2019 through the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2019.
In light of these regulations and the rising concerns regarding e-cigarette use among students, the Commission reiterated its recommendation to rigorously enforce the ban as per the existing law and to clamp down on outlets that continue to sell these prohibited products.