E-smoking emerging health risk

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

Around 100,000 people die annually due to tobacco use, and the popularity of e-cigarettes among the youth is an emerging health risk, stated by Sheikh Zayed Hospital Pulmonology Head Talha Mahmood while talking to the APP on Wednesday.

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

He said that many of the substances used in electronic cigarettes could be carcinogenic, such as nicotine and flavourings. Nicotine is also a cause of heart disease.

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

He also said that e-cigarettes do not help smokers in quitting smoking.

“Close to 8000 unique e-liquid flavours have been reported. The health effects of heated and inhaled flavourings 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 report by the World Health Organization.

According to the fact sheet, five million people have died in the world as a direct result of tobacco, and by 2025,ten million people are expected to die from this addiction.

About 24 million Pakistanis, 36% of adult males and 9% of adult females are smokers, while the trend to use e-cigarette is increasing rapidly among students.

In the 20th century, tobacco consumption killed 100 million people world-wide.

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