E-cigarette Ban: The Newest Criminal on the Streets, the Vaper


E-cigarette Ban: The Newest Criminal on the Streets, the Vaper

Illustration: Swapnil Shinde

Just when we were beginning to think that there was no possible way India could be a safer country to live in, our Finance Minister introduced us to an entirely new fear. Proving that she has the perfect shoulder to fire more than a few guns from, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that those pesky e-cigarettes, which us “millennials” keep puffing on all day, will be banned in India. Finally, we can go back to sucking our avocados dry, and playing Pub-G at work, like we’re expected to.

Sitharaman pointed out in her announcement that the decision was taken to “help the youth of the country”… and also because America did it first. One minor point was overlooked while presenting this logic — while some states of the US are banning fruit-flavoured vapes to prevent teenagers from getting hooked to nicotine, they still continue to sell the tobacco flavoured ones for smokers who’re legitimately trying to quit. Our country looked over all that boring stuff, spat some pan masala on the wall, and did the thing it knows best — banned all 400 brands of e-cigarettes. 

Of course, vapes are dangerous, as Sitharaman pointed out. Talking non-stop about the benefits of e-cigarettes puts you at a 100 per cent higher risk of getting punched by an aggressive cigarette smoker in a bar. Vapes are also almost always guaranteed to make you instantly become the least cool person in any room you walk into (think Rahul Gandhi at a BJP rally). I mean, who wants to be the guy who recovers from a stressful day by going out on the balcony and not slowly killing themselves with tar and smoke? Criminals, the lot of them.

The new law against owning and selling e-cigarettes comes with a ₹1,00,000 fine and in some cases, a one-year prison term — pretty intense stuff for something that comes in a “buttered popcorn” flavour. Still, it’s better that the non-millennials stay on the lookout for this alarming fad. There’s no telling when one of us e-cigarette wielding lunatics will accost you on the street, and calmly take five deep breaths without coughing up a whole lot of phlegm. To truly avoid these maniacs, and not risk ruining your life in the process, it’s important to know just exactly what you’re dealing with.

For starters, look out for anyone with a finsta — or a private Instagram account. Who knows how many e-cigarettes they have both bought and consumed in their lifetimes. Everyone who follows them, that’s who! According to sources familiar with millennials, Instagram is the first choice of many vaping delinquents to show off their Juuls, a weapon that’s so demonised, it might as well be the erstwhile king of Lanka. It’s hard to miss, honestly. 

There’s no telling when one of us e-cigarette wielding lunatics will accost you on the street, and calmly take five deep breaths without coughing up a whole lot of phlegm.

Slightly related to the point above: Look out for any man who has that typically millennial hairstyle. You know the one where the sides are really short, like it was meant to be a crew cut, but the hair on top was left long, so it could always point north? Yeah those guys vape for sure.

Also look out for any smoker friends who suddenly climb stairs without collapsing into a heap on the floor, or claims to be able to taste food again. They’re almost certainly vaping, and at that point, you’re just watching them throw their lives away. Vapers will also get sudden mood swings — it’s almost as if after all these years, they’re making an effort to prolong their lives and be healthier. It’s important you crush this spirit with a snarky comment.

E-cigarette smokers are more widespread than you think. Chances are that you’ll encounter several of them in public spaces — sometimes maybe even in high-security areas like airports. Completely oblivious to their dangerous habit, they might take a puff of their device in front of thousands of unsuspecting passengers. This is your cue to duck as fast as you can, so that you don’t accidentally take in any second-hand vapour, which according to sources in ITC, might give you depression and possibly even AIDS.

It’s enough that the vapers are ruining their own lives. Apparently just one puff is enough for your teeth to fall out, give you several serious disorders, and to get you so addicted that you may have to take up a life of crime to support your habit. Wait, did I just Google e-cigarettes or crystal meth? Doesn’t matter! Ban it! 

Anyway the point is that no one really likes vapers (not even you Vaibhav). They can’t even get the basic idea of choking themselves to death right. Plus they smell all fruity and fresh, and look like dragons when they’re exhaling. Why won’t they at least bother getting a strawberry flavour and spitting their nicotine all over the walls for the rest of us to appreciate? How absolutely boring and, honestly, psychotic. 

So today let’s all hold hands and join the government on their quest to free the youth from this disgusting menace. Let’s replace this new trend with a more familiar one that we all know, love, and never have to carry a charger for — actual cigarettes. It’s not like there’ve been any studies about the negative effects of smoking, after all.