Directives on Healthcare Professionals’ Involvement in E-Cigarette and HTP Research

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The National Medical Commission (NMV) has reasserted the ban on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), heated tobacco products (HTPs), and similar devices through the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Act, 2019 (PECA, 2019). This public notice was issued on December 15, 2023.

PECA unequivocally prohibits the use of these products in India. Hence, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued a directive addressing healthcare professionals affiliated with the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The directive aims at upholding public health and safety.

The directive emphasizes that healthcare professionals associated with the NMC and IMA should refrain from initiating or participating in any research activities related to e-cigarettes and HTPs without obtaining the necessary approvals from the Directorate General of Health Services (Dte.GHS) and MoHFW.

The notice highlights the gravity of the ban and calls for the issuance of necessary instructions to all healthcare professionals affiliated with the NMC and IMA. It aims to ensure strict adherence to regulatory protocols and ethical standards, preventing any research activities that might inadvertently contribute to the promotion or use of banned substances.

The directive aligns with the broader goal of promoting responsible research within the healthcare community and maintaining the highest standards of healthcare practice and research in the country.

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