Last weekend I was walking in the mall looking for a particular shop.
I walked by a Starbucks, and sitting at a table outside were 3 young boys, probably aged between 12 and 15.
Above them was a giant cloud of smoke.
Each one of those buys was puffing on small plastic colourful pipe-looking thing.
Those were e-cigarette, or vaping pens, or whatever you want to call them.
Among teenagers as well as adults, there is a perception that vaping pens are “safe”, or at least far safer than regular cigarettes.
But they’re wrong. Extensive research published by some of the most prestigious scientists and universities have demonstrated that e-cigarettes are just as bad (and in many cases) far worse than regular cigarettes.
The solvents being used in the liquid contain many chemicals already linked to a wide range of cancers.
In addition, the “misconception” that these products are safer has encouraged people (and especially children) to use them much more often than someone would smoke a regular cigarette.
For example, the acid used as a solvent for nicotine in e-cigarettes is sometimes so effective that people get MORE nicotine by smoking an e-cigarette compared to a regular cigarette.
The main concern is the rapid rise of their use among children. In 2018 alone, the US saw a 75% increase in use of e-cigarettes among teenagers! We don’t have data on the Middle East region, but given the history: such unhealthy trends tend to be stronger in this part of the world.
In addition, a new study revealed that a large portion of teenagers who smoke e-cigarettes end up transitioning to regular cigarettes over time (which is the complete opposite of what the makers of e-cigarettes claim: that they help reduce cigarette smoking). Link to study: https://wb.md/2xX9tjs
In Europe and the US, regulators are going after manufacturers and sellers of e-cigarettes to limit sales to children.
In the Middle East we can’t count on regulators. It’s up to responsible adults to take action and up to the teenagers to educate themselves on the real harm of e-cigarettes and not blindly believe advertisements.