Thursday September 19, 2019

E-cigarettes Are 95% Less Risky Than Conventional Cigarettes: Experts

Moreover, 55 countries worldwide, including the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Canada, among others, have legalised the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer goods

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E-cigarette additives impair lung function: Study.

By cracking down on artificial nicotine products, India will miss the historical opportunity to reduce the burden of disease and deaths due to smoking and tobacco as these products are 95 per cent less risky than conventional cigarettes, health experts said.

“E-cigarettes represent a very historical opportunity when you consider the diversity in the mosaic of different patterns of use in different products that are used at such high rates in India,” Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece told IANS.

India has 11.2 per cent of the world’s total smokers. Over 11 per cent of the 6.4 million deaths worldwide were caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 per cent of them took place in China, India, Russia, and the US, according to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet.

“E-cigarettes are not safe but are certainly 95 per cent less risky than smoking conventional cigarettes,” Alex Wodak, Emeritus Consultant, Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney told IANS.

“The smoke from a conventional cigarette contains about 7,000 chemicals with mostly high concentrations but vapour from e-cigarettes contains only 150 chemicals which are mostly of low concentration,” Wodak added.

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

In August, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory to state governments to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which include e-cigarettes, vape, e-Sheesha, e-hookah, etc.

According to experts, banning these may deprive smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative which can be against public health and can result in adverse consequences.

One should never make decisions based only on potential risks but they should always measure benefits and see where the ratio lies, they added.

“Regulation is needed but it should be risk proportional,” Farsalinos said.

Earlier, in a statement, the Association of Vapers India (AVI) — an organisation that represents e-cigarettes — said the government has failed to offer an alternative to tobacco cigarettes known to cause many diseases, including cancer and lung disease.

“The government has so far relied on an emotional appeal to persuade tobacco users to kick the habit but never offered an alternative beyond gums and patches, which have a very low success rate,” said Samrat Chowdhery, Director, AVI.

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Smoking conventional, e-cigarettes daily can be more dangerous. Pixabay

In such a scenario, “an attempt to ban e-cigarettes is regressive given that the government’s stated policy is to provide wider choices to consumers for all products and services, and not restrict them,” he added.

Although e-cigarettes too contain nicotine like tobacco cigarettes, they do not produce tar and toxic chemicals that cause most tobacco-related deaths across the world, the experts argued.

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Moreover, 55 countries worldwide, including the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Canada, among others, have legalised the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer goods.

E-cigarettes are a proven stop smoking tool and while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes which currently kill millions, the experts noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Physicians Happy While Traders in Shock on Ban on E-Cigarettes in India

With the Union Cabinet directing a blanket ban on e-cigarettes in the country, physicians welcomed the step while e-cigarette traders expressed shock and anger

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A man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette, Aug. 28, 2019. VOA

With the Union Cabinet directing a blanket ban on e-cigarettes in the country with complete suspension of their manufacturing, import, export, distribution and storage, physicians welcomed the step while e-cigarette traders expressed shock and anger over the decision.

“Although, e-cigarettes are little less lethal then the conventional cigarettes, we cannot shun away the fact that it contains harmful ingredients. These chemicals can potentially affect the lungs and overall health of the individual in the long run,” Rajesh Chawla, Senior Pulmonologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told IANS.

Industry body TRENDS which represents importers, distributors and marketers of ENDS, or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in India, termed the decision to ban e-cigarettes “ironic and erratic”.

“This ban on e-cigarettes on the basis of ‘selective sourcing of scientific and medical opinion’ and without holding a single stakeholder meeting is nothing short of a complete murder of democratic norms,” said Praveen Rikhy, Convenor, TRENDS (Trade Representatives of ENDS).

“All our representations sharing best practices from other countries – 70 developed countries have allowed regulated sale of e-cigarettes, have been completely ignored. We will now initiate a formal campaign to help MPs understand the issue, clarify misapprehensions and misinformation spread by lobby groups and support the farmer groups who see the growth of the e-cigarette sector as a global market opportunity for nicotine,” Rikhy said.

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The Donald Trump administration on September 12 said that it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes in the US following six deaths. Pixabay

While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way for adults to quit conventional smoking, a recent outbreak of lung illness associated with use of vaping products in the US has raised concerns about the safety of these products.

The Donald Trump administration on September 12 said that it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes in the US following six deaths linked to vaping.

Health authorities have documented a total of 450 cases involving e-cigarettes, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued a health warning against vaping.

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“I entirely support the idea of a ban on e-cigarettes; it is a step in the right direction,” Manoj Luthra, CEO, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

“E-cigarettes have been projected as a means to help people to quit smoking tobacco and also being non-polluting. However, these have their own health hazards and are addictive as well. These contain nicotine and other chemical vapours which will certainly have ill effects on the heart and lung and other organs as well,” he said. (IANS)