Letters
2017-02-15 7:17:55 -
Opinion
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9819
Vaping is not the answer to Ireland’s smoking addiction

Smokers should not be led to believe that e-cigarettes are any less dangerous than standard cigarettes. E-cigarettes are also as dangerous to those around them as they are for the smoker. The vapour is no less harmful than it is with ordinary smoke – albeit in a lesser volume which contains nicotine.

They are designed to give people their nicotine fix, and it is as simple as that. They are extremely fashionable for young people who are taking up the habit of smoking, and come in all kinds of flavours and aromas to make them appealing to the widest number of people possible. Too many teenagers now view them as cool and hip.

The e-cigarette is a dream come true for the tobacco industry, who have a device that is very convenient for smokers. E-cigarettes shops are mushrooming at every location and it will be just a matter of time before they are sold in all major chain stores. These shops represent extra locations for people to get nicotine as an add-on to where smokers usually deal with their craving.

The nicotine industry can also save itself a fortune in packaging, who now only have to deliver their controversial product in the shape of a small concentrated phial of liquid, after the e-cigarette is bought. Far from stopping or reducing people’s smoking habit or making it safer, e-cigarettes will be more popular than ever because of their mobility.

They can also be abused or adapted by people wishing to replace nicotine phials of liquid with banned substances and inhale their vapour.

Smokers happily suck away on their devices and see them as a much safer alternative to standard cigarettes. They are not. They carry exactly the same dangers as standard cigarettes and other tobacco products which have the same potential for disease such as cancer.

Lungs are designed for air, not vapours or smoke laced with mind and body altering drugs and known carcinogens such as nicotine. Users of e-cigarettes can also become ‘dual users’, according to the Irish Cancer Society’s research on e-cigarettes, so any notion of these novel devices being used as an effective tool to quit smoking can be brought into serious doubt.

Incredibly, the Government is still on the fence about their effectiveness to get people to stop smoking, despite e-cigarettes being a nicotine product and where other nicotine products carry dire warnings. Just because e-cigarettes are alleged by some to wean people away from ordinary cigarettes does not automatically mean nicotine-addicted people will be any healthier. E-cigarettes are not a step forward, it is just that there is not so much smoke with them. The benefits end there.

All nicotine products carry serious health risks, whether they be gums, sprays, patches or loose tobacco. E-cigarettes represent another diversification in the nicotine industry’s arsenal to get people hooked for life and should be considered no less an evil when it comes to health risks.

Maurice Fitzgerald
Shanbally, Co Cork

Editor’s note: Researched announced by UK cancer researchers this month indicates that e-cigarettes significantly reduce exposure to carcinogens compared to smoking, though research in the US suggests a connection between their use and a higher risk of cardio-vascular disease.
TAGS : Letters Ireland Smoking Addiction Maurice Fitzgerald Implications
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