Stub out e-cigarettes

Vaping is no safer than smoking, warns Dr Sandeep Nayak

health

Today’s world is intoxicating in many ways, more so for young adults who are the most vulnerable ones. However, the popularity of e-cigarettes has considerably increased over the last few years. The increase in addiction, even got the Central Government to impose a ban on the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement on electronic cigarettes. 

The significant increase in usage of e-cigarettes can be attributed to a lack of awareness and misconception among youth. E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes and vaporiser cigarettes, are devices that emit doses of vaporised nicotine that are inhaled. It is a long-shaped tube such as a cigarette, cigar or pipe. Some of them also look like a ball pen. The device is battery operated and can also emit non-nicotine with flavours. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is as addictive as normal cigarettes.

Due to a lack of awareness, there is a lot of misconception around e-cigarettes. Vaping is no safer than smoking; scientists have warned after findings that e-cigarette vapour damages DNA in ways that could indeed trigger cancer. An adolescent exposed to e-cigarettes has a greater adverse impact as their growing brain is exposed to nicotine. It results in mood disorder and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also alters the way synapses are formed, which can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

E-cigarettes also damage the respiratory system as it contains potentially harmful chemicals which, when inhaled deep into the lungs, can cause serious lung diseases. 

(The author is surgical oncologist, MACS Clinic, Bengaluru)

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