E-smoking: Health risk or remedy for quitting smoking

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LAHORE: (APP)-Electronic-cigarettes, a battery-operated device developed as an alternative to normal cigarettes is also causing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases .

About 100,000 people die annually due to tobacco use and use of 'Shisha' ,and e-cigarette popular among the youth is an emerging health risk,stated by Dr Talha Mahmood,head of Department of Pulmonology Sheikh Zayed Hospital while talking to APP on Wednesday.

He said many harmful chemicals,including nicotine were being used in the composition of this harmful E-Cigarette which were toxic to humans and can cause health issues on inhalation.

He said that in electronic cigarette nicotine, flavourings and many other harmful chemicals are used that may be carcinogenic. Electronic cigarette cartridges contain nicotine which can cause heart ailments .

"In adults smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases ,including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants it causes sudden death. In pregnant women it causes low birth weight", he added.

He said that newly introduced E-Cigarette is like the other cigarette but its level of harm has not been evaluated,however,its ability to help smokers to quit smoking is zero.

"Close to 8000 e-liquid unique flavours have been reported. The health effects of heated and inhaled flavourants used in the e-liquids have not been well studied but it is very likely that e-cigarettes are less toxic than cigarette smoke, however,these are unlikely to be harmless, and long-term use is expected to increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and possibly cardiovascular disease as well as some other diseases also associated with smoking",said a World Health Organization's report.

According to the fact sheet given by the Tobacco Control Cell,Minister of National Health Services,Regulations and Coordination,five million people died in the world as a direct result of tobacco,and in 2025,ten million people are expected to die from this addiction.

About 24 million Pakistanis,36 percent of adult males and 9 percent of adult females are smokers while the trend to use E-cigarette is increasing rapidly in new generation especially in students.

In 20th Century, tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people world-wide killing 1 in 10 adults and if it remained unchecked/uncontrolled, during 21st century, it could kill one billion.

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