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Bhaichung Bhutia joins Mothers Against Vaping cause to combat promotion of new-age tobacco devices

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Mothers Against Vaping on Tuesday announced that former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia will support their cause of combatting the promotion of new-age tobacco devices among Indian children and youngsters.

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Bhutia's endorsement adds substantial weight to the cause of Mothers Against Vaping, it said.

The group is a united front of concerned mothers that aims to combat the promotion of e-cigarettes, vapes, electronic nicotine delivery systems and heat-not-burn products among Indian youngsters.

The group said, "His (Bhutia) involvement is anticipated to amplify the impact of the cause, shedding more light on the escalating problem of new-age tobacco device usage among the country's youth." This collaboration aims to raise awareness, garner support and foster a collective effort to protect the wellbeing of the younger generation from the hazards of these devices, they said.

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Bhutia said, "I have been working with children to nurture future football talents and it is a great feeling to see their spirit on the field. So, for me, it is very disheartening that children and youngsters are falling prey to these harmful habits." "At an age where our children should be immersed in an environment that nurtures their dreams and aspirations, it is sad to witness the havoc that these new-age tobacco devices are wrecking on their health and ultimately their lives," the former Indian football team captain said.

He also praised the efforts of Mothers Against Vaping in raising awareness, calling it "truly commendable".

"I wholeheartedly extend my support to them, so that the wellbeing and future of our younger generations are secured," Bhutia said.

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According to Mothers Against Vaping, rising addiction among children to new-age tobacco devices is fuelled by the aggressive efforts of big tobacco companies to establish a new market and cultivate future consumers.

"These companies employ various tactics, including social media advertising, designing electronic devices with sleek technology and eye-catching aesthetics and introducing enticing flavours like strawberry or bubble gum, to appeal to children," the group said.

"This alarming trend poses a significant risk of addiction as e-cigarettes and other such devices can serve as gateway devices, potentially leading users to more harmful substances such as cocaine and heroine," it added.

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Despite the comprehensive ban imposed by the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarette Act, 2019, e-cigarettes and similar new-age devices continue to proliferate, according to Mothers Against Vaping.

The use of vaping and e-cigarette devices has been linked to various harmful effects, ranging from extensive lung damage to environmental harm through improper disposal, the group said.

In response to the urgent concern posed by the proliferation of new-age tobacco devices, the group is seeking support and action from influential figures, parents, educators, influencers and policymakers. PTI PLB SZM

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