Journal Article

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Mapping the Indian Online Retail Market

Vikrant R Mohanty, Puneet Chahar, Aswini Y Balappanavar and Vipul Yadav

in Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Volume 19, issue 11, pages 1386-1389
Published in print November 2017 | ISSN: 1462-2203
Published online February 2017 | e-ISSN: 1469-994X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntx044
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Mapping the Indian Online Retail Market

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Abstract

Introduction

Motivating tobacco consumers to change their behavior, and harm reduction strategies, are the predominant traditional approaches to tobacco cessation. Recent trends worldwide have shown the emergence of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), as a purported harm reduction strategy to traditional cigarettes. Considering the global rise in the popularity of ENDS, our study aims to survey the online retail market for ENDS in India.

Methods

The current study was conducted in September–October, 2015 and 4 keywords were used to search Google India to identify online retail websites marketing ENDS. Each website was searched using the same keywords and all specific website pages displaying ENDS models were considered. Thus, data was obtained for various measures of ENDS present on the model descriptions.

Results

A total of 6 retail shopping websites were searched which revealed 65 different models of ENDS (34 brands). Forty-five models (69%) were flavored and 21 models (33%) mentioned about nicotine strengths. Seventeen models (26%) provided health warnings in their product descriptions. “No tar no tobacco” was most common claim accounting to 34 models (51%).

Conclusions

This article provide insight into the current status of evident online sales of ENDS in India. There is urgent need to implement regulations on online sales of these products and protect the future from such approaches of tobacco control which still have divided opinions.

Implications

The study permits the use of web search engine to explore market availability of ENDS at various online retail websites. Recommendations from the study can be used to guide policy makers in developing strategies tailored to regulate availability and online sales of ENDS in India.

Journal Article.  2816 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Addictions and Substance Misuse

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