The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), which claims to represent farmers of commercial crops from various states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat, claimed that the new generation vaping products use nicotine extracted from tobacco grown outside the country.
"Allowing e-cigarette trade to flourish in India would have a catastrophic effect on the tobacco farmers. The farmers of the main tobacco growing region in India are against these new-generation product such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn as new generation vaping products do not use Indian tobacco," FAIFA said in a statement.
On the contrary, it said, "Extraction of nicotine from tobacco for products like ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) happens largely outside India from the tobaccos grown outside the country, which could hugely impact livelihood of Indian tobacco farmers, if such products are allowed to carry on business in India."
Reacting to calls from a section for tobacco growers who had asked the government not to ban e-cigarettes and vaping products, FAIFA said a "handful of farmers led by tobacco merchants, who are suppliers to the vaping industry are misleading policy makers and causing confusion by saying that banning such products would lead to a "tremendous loss of revenue to farmers and tobacco traders."
"It is important to note that tobacco dust, produced while processing chewing and Bidi tobacco is used as raw material to manufacture Nicotine," FAIFA said adding no fresh quantity of tobacco is produced by farmers to extract nicotine.
"Only manufacturers and traders of this product benefit with the extraction of nicotine," it added. PTI RKL SHW