Wednesday April 24, 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

Many Teenagers are Unaware of the Nicotine Content Present in e-Cigarettes: Study

The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use of e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes and marijuana

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FILE - A customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

A new study shows that many teenagers who use e-cigarettes do not understand the amount of addictive nicotine they are inhaling.

The study, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that 40 percent of adolescents who believed they were only using nicotine-free products were actually vaping significant amounts of the substance. The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use of e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes and marijuana.

Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York state compared adolescents’ responses about their use of such substances against urine samples taken from the teenagers. They found that almost all of the respondents were honest about their substance use, however, they discovered the biggest discrepancy in the study came from teens who thought they were using nicotine-free e-cigarettes.

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Customers puff at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. VOA

“Many of our participants were unaware of the nicotine content of the e-cigarette products they were using,” the researchers concluded.

Pros and cons

The study comes at a time when the popularity of e-cigarettes is on the rise and their use has become a divisive topic in the public health community.

Advocates for e-cigarettes say the products have the potential to shift lifelong smokers of traditional cigarettes onto less-harmful nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, while critics say that vaping risks bringing a new generation into nicotine addiction. Critics also point out that the health effects from the chemicals in e-cigarettes are not fully known.

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The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use, traditional cigarettes and marijuana. Pixabay

It contains nicotine, which is addictive, but they do not contain tar or many of the other substances in traditional cigarettes, which make them deadly. Battery-powered e-cigarettes turn liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor.

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Use among teens

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to restrict sales of most flavored e-cigarettes at drug stores and gasoline stations in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of young people.

U.S. federal law bans the sale to anyone under 18 years of age. But a study published last year found that 1 in 5 high school students report using the devices — an activity known as vaping. (VOA)