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Indonesia: Health impact of e-cigarette almost similar to regular cigarette: PDPI

12 August 2022

By: Katriana, Antara

Hence, it is not true that e-cigarettes are safer, as e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes contain the same substances. Although e-cigarettes do not contain tar, this type of cigarette contains carcinogens

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Chairman of the Indonesian Lung Doctors Association (PDPI) Dr Agus Dwi Susanto reminded the public that e-cigarettes have an impact on human health, with effects almost similar to those of conventional cigarettes.

At a virtual press conference monitored here on Friday, Susanto explained that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, carcinogens, and other toxic substances akin to those found in conventional cigarettes.

“Hence, it is not true that e-cigarettes are safer, as e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes contain the same substances. Although e-cigarettes do not contain tar, this type of cigarette contains carcinogens,” Susanto stated at the press conference, supporting the revision of Government Regulation Number 109 of 2012.

He pointed out that substances in e-cigarette liquid can potentially impact health, such as nicotine, nitrosamines that are carcinogens or cancer-causing compounds, glycerol that can cause respiratory tract irritation, and metals that cause lung inflammation.

E-cigarettes also cause addiction, with research conducted by the Persahabatan General Hospital (RSUP) and PDPI finding that 76.5 percent of men, who use e-cigarettes, are dependent on nicotine.

Based on research from the US National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine in 2018, Susanto said that e-cigarettes can have an impact on health and can cause lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and lung cancer.

He also highlighted a study in Taiwan in 2019 which found that nine out of 40 rats exposed to e-cigarette smoke containing nicotine for 54 weeks developed adenocarcinoma type lung cancer.

Research conducted in Indonesia by Universitas Airlangga in 2019 with animal subjects also found that exposure to conventional cigarettes causes major damage to the lungs, the same effect as e-cigarettes.

“This is the equivalent of a three-milligram e-cigarette. Hence, the content is exactly the same as in conventional cigarettes that then causes damage to the lung tissue,” he explained.

On the occasion, PDPI also expressed support to the government to revise Government Regulation 109 of 2012 concerning the Safety of Materials Containing Addictive Substances in the Form of Tobacco Products for Health, one of which will regulate the use of e-cigarettes.