28 August 2019
E-cigarettes will encourage former smokers to return to their habit and play a part in “recruiting” new smokers, according to Prakit Vathesatogkit, executive secretary of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand.
“Using e-cigarettes could be a prelude to smoking cigarettes. There have been health reports in the US that e-cigarettes even encourage former smokers to return to smoking again,” Dr Prakit said.
He cited a study published in Public Health Reports, a US based health magazine, this month that indicated that using e-cigarettes is not a healthy alternative, and doesn’t help people quit traditional smoking as is being portrayed.
Health research conducted with 26,446 former-smokers during 2013-2015 showed many former smokers who use e-cigarettes from time to time will take up traditional smoking again.
E-cigarettes have been banned in Thailand since 2014, but interest groups, including tobacco companies, are lobbying the government to lift the ban.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has reportedly insisted the ban against vaping will remain.
Once championed as a healthier alternative product to traditional smoking, e-cigarettes have received negative potrayals in several recent health reports.
There were 193 cases across 22 states in the US of potential cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette use since the end of June, according to figures released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention quoted in an AFP news report last Saturday.
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than eight million people per year worldwide.
E-cigarette users don’t get exposed to the estimated 7,000 chemical constituents present in combustible cigarettes, and vaping is generally believed to be safer than smoking.
The liquids in e-cigarettes do, however, contain nicotine, which has been studied for decades and is known to be highly addictive. They also contain a variety of other constituents classed as “potentially harmful” according to the US National Academy of Sciences.