The primary cause of cancer is the constituents of the smoke in combustible tobacco, and other constituents in chewing tobacco
E-cigarettes are hand held electronic devices for creating a feeling of smoking tobacco
Banning of e-cigarettes could turn out to be disastrous for India which houses the second largest smoking population in the world
August 27, 2017: An outright ban on e-cigarettes without collecting any research data may put public health in India at greater risk, experts have warned.
While tobacco-associated cancer is easily preventable by cessation of tobacco usage, a prohibitive environment may do more harm than allowing smokers, who wish to cease tobacco use, an alternative option based on nicotine replacement via e-cigarettes, the experts said.
The primary cause of cancer is not nicotine but the constituents of the smoke in combustible tobacco, and other constituents in chewing tobacco said M. Siddiqi, Chairman of Kolkata-based non-profit Cancer Foundation of India and R.N. Sharan, Professor of Biochemistry, North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya.
E-cigarettes, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes, are hand held electronic devices that try to create a feeling of smoking tobacco.
They work by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapor”, that the user inhales.
Banning of e-cigarettes/ENDS could be disastrous for India which houses the second largest smoking population in the world, Siddiqi and Sharan said in an appeal to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda.
Modern technology which delivers safe nicotine in an acceptable form should be looked at as an alternative nicotine replacement option, they added. (IANS)
While we know about the harmful effects of traditional cigarettes and vaping, new heated tobacco devices are no less toxic to the human lung cells than ordinary cigarette smoke, said researchers, including one of Indian-origin.
The study has compared new heated tobacco devices, which heat solid tobacco instead of an e-liquid, with vaping and traditional cigarettes showing that all the three are toxic to the cells.
In addition, these newer electronic nicotine delivery devices can destroy lung tissue leading to fatal diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and pneumonia, and can increase the risk of developing asthma.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and with the introduction of e-cigarettes in the last decade, the trend of nicotine uptake is not going to slow down in the near future,” said Pawan Sharma, a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney.
“The latest addition in this emerging trend is the planned and vigorous introduction of heated tobacco devices. They are commonly called next generation or heat-not-burn products. We know very little about the health effects of these new devices, so we designed this research to compare them with cigarette smoking and vaping,” added Sharma.
For the study, researchers tested the effects of all three nicotine sources on two types of cells taken from the human airways: epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells.
In healthy lungs, epithelial cells act as the first line of defence to any foreign particles entering the airway while smooth muscle cells maintain the structure of the airway. However, smoking can lead to difficulty in breathing primarily by hampering the normal functions of these cells.
The team exposed the cells to different concentrations of cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapour and vapour from a heated tobacco device, and measured whether this was damaging to cells and whether it affected the cells’ normal functions.
The findings, published in ERJ Open Research, showed that cigarette smoke and heated tobacco vapour were highly toxic to the cells both at lower and higher concentrations while e-cigarette vapour demonstrated toxicity mainly at higher concentrations.
Importantly, the review of the European Respiratory Society’s Tobacco Control Committee’s own data on these devices has shown that, in rats, there is evidence of lung inflammation, and there is no evidence of improvement in lung inflammation and function in smokers who switch to heated tobacco, said Professor Charlotta Pisinger from the varsity.
“If the current trend continues, tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030 around the world,” noted Sharma. (IANS)