'Vaping' trend alarms health experts in Pakistan

Vaping and use of e-cigarettes pose health risks

Photo: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Health experts on Tuesday called for public awareness on rising usage of electronic cigarettes among teenagers and the negative health impact of tobacco on health, as well as to advocate for effective e-cigarette control policies in the country. 

Talking to a private news channel, lung specialist Prof Dr Javed Khan stressed on the need for more rigorous anti-tobacco campaigns that focused on tobacco cigarettes and on the rising trend of e-cigarettes among youth to create awareness about the harmful effects of smoking.

He said the rising popularity of vaping means that roughly 5 percent of the country's teenagers have switched to e-cigarettes. The professor added that there should be a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes.

"We remains extremely troubled about the rapid increase in the number of of youth using these products, and have repeatedly called upon the authorities concerned to increase their oversight and scrutiny in this regard," he noted. 

According to the health expert, the use of e-cigarette among youth was a significant public health concern and steps must be taken by parents, educators and especially policymakers to discourage the use of e-cigarettes.

Dr Javed explained that many harmful chemicals, including nicotine, were being used in the composition of this harmful e-cigarette which was toxic to humans and could cause health issues.

E-cigarettes are known by many different names.

They are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems".

”Chemicals in vaping fluid also can cause acute lung injuries and contribute to lung and cardiovascular disease down the line," the specialist says.

Moreover, he said, that the youth needed to be educated about the product. "The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed in country and there are no restrictions on the use and labeling of e-cigarettes."

“E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm,” he mentioned.