Published: 13th September 2023
Hyderabad college students turn peddlers to support their addictions
The police said the two students sourced the e-cigarettes from West Bengal and Maharashtra which they used to distribute to 71 consumers across various colleges
Two students from a business college, grappling with an addiction to vaping and e-cigarettes, began sourcing the drugs from alumni of the same college who are now in Maharashtra and West Bengal. These students have been selling the stuff to customers in Hyderabad to make money, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
According to a study conducted by the Think Change Forum (TCF), "In recent times, drug suppliers have been increasingly employing novel strategies such as vaping to target teenagers and adolescents through innovative delivery methods and technology-based solutions."
The Raidurgam and Madhapur police reported that the two students, associated with IBS College and Amity Business School, were selling e-cigarettes to students from other institutions, including Amity College, ICFAI, IBS Shankarpally, Mahindra University Bachupally, Sanskriti Degree College Kondapur, Akash Institute Shaikpet, and Geetham College, Patancheru.
An officer involved in the arrest of the duo told The New Indian Express that they were introduced to vaping by their seniors and subsequently became addicted. To support their habit and make money, they started procuring e-cigarettes for personal use and resale.
The police said the two students sourced the e-cigarettes from West Bengal and Maharashtra which they used to distribute to 71 consumers across various colleges.
Under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act 2019, the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of electronic cigarettes are illegal.
Role parents can play
The Think Change Forum (TCF) study proposed 'Five Key Recommendations for the Education System to Address the Issue of Drug Abuse Among Students'. Dr Pallavi Rao Chaturvedi, a parenting coach, educator, author, and founder of Get Set Parent, offered insights on one of the recommendations.
She stated, "Movies and OTT serials often depict vaping or e-cigarettes as coping mechanisms, leaving a lasting impression on adolescents. Gradually, such behaviour becomes ingrained among the youth. Furthermore, some modern parents exhibit a lenient attitude, permitting their children to experiment or even share a drink, unlike previous generations. However, it is crucial for parents to recognise that adolescents and young adults, aged 18 to 22, often struggle to establish clear boundaries. Parents must take a firm stance and set strict limits to prevent confusion in their children's minds, ensuring they understand the dangers and harmful effects associated with experimenting with products like vaping and e-cigarettes."
Meanwhile, the police officer leading the investigation noted that the two students became addicted to vaping due to peer pressure. During counselling sessions with the police, they initially concealed how they got addicted. They attempted to convince counsellors that their parents had been neglectful, and they resorted to selling e-cigarettes out of necessity for money for their daily expenses.
The officer also emphasized the prevalence of vaping among young people and the increasing number of cases in pubs. While pubs are not authorized to permit the consumption of e-cigarettes on their premises, there have been instances of customers using these devices.