Alert: Just 10 Puffs Of an E-Cigarette As Deadly As a Regular Fag
E-cigarettes have made smoking cool again. If the intense marketing is anything to go by, e-cigs are the new black. But is vaping really as safe as advertised? 
E-cigarettes have made smoking cool again. If the intense marketing is anything to go by, e-cigs are the new black. But is vaping really as safe as advertised? (Photo: iStockphoto)

Alert: Just 10 Puffs Of an E-Cigarette As Deadly As a Regular Fag

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know it because I’ve done it thousands of times. 
Mark Twain

Bang on! Science says that 9 out of 10 people who try to kick the butt fail miserably. Perhaps that is why, practically overnight, e-cigarettes have come into their own as the new in thing.

And now an independent study done by USA’s biggest child health body, the American Academy of Pediatrics, finds that e-cigarettes could be the gateway to lifelong nicotine addiction, hinder brain development, give you ‘popcorn lungs’ (an irreversible and fatal condition where the airways are narrowed and weakened) – and all this combined can threaten decades of anti-smoking gains.

If you think that e-cigarettes are an American phenomenon, smoke on this: In the last 3 years, the e-cigarette market has shot up to a $3-4 billion industry and the US contributes to only a quarter of it. In 2014, ITC started manufacturing e-cigarettes in India when most of the Chinese e-cigarette brands were readily available, and obviously, the cigarette giant will not invest millions in a tobacco cessation tool.

Before You Start Vaping, Here’s What You Need To Know

An alarming study by Swedish scientists found that just 10 puffs of an e-fag can set the heart disease ball rolling, just like a regular cigarette.

It increases the risk of high blood pressure, hardens arteries and makes it harder for people to quit smoking. All this for the popular perception that e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation tool, but contrary to popular perception, it does contain nicotine.

Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, precisely why these vaping devices will never help anyone wean themselves off smoking.

An e-cigarette is a terrible alternative to smoking. In fact, they are much more sinister than tobacco cigarettes – even the World Health Organisation doesn’t buy it. Nicotine poses several health hazards of varying severity and promotes the growth of tumours.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Senior Oncologist Surgeon, Head and Neck Cancer Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital

According to Dr Chaturvedi, e-cigarettes also pose the threat of nicotine poisoning – if you inhale three cartridges in a row, you can die. One cartridge has roughly 11 milligrams of nicotine, three would be over 30, which is a fatal dose.

The World Health Organisation says reports of nicotine poisoning have increased manifold in the US and UK where the popularity of e-cigarettes is soaring.
 (Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)
(Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)
(Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)
(Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)
(Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)
(Photo: Nikita Mishra/FIT)

Also Read: Never Smoked? Never Mind! Your Lung Cancer Chances Are Still High

Where Does India Stand On E-Cigarette Regulations?

Like with most subjects to do with ‘health’, India does not have a national policy on e-cigarettes yet.

The problem is that e-cigarettes are not mandated by law, and they don’t come under the jurisdiction of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act or fall in the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act. Companies can openly flout the tobacco control provisions, which means they can sell it to kids under the age of 18, skip the gory pictorial warnings on packaging, and openly advertise it.

In 2013, the then Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan called a closed door meeting of public health activists and FDA officials to completely ban the sale and supply of e-cigarettes in the country.

He was motivated by the news that 13 of the 59 countries that regulate e-cigarettes banned them after compelling scientific evidence that these sticks do more harm than good. But since then, the Health Minister changed and the issue has been put on the back-burner.

A new drug is being freely and openly being sold to people and that drug is nicotine. We don’t know how healthy or unhealthy these are over the long term. But the question is this: if in the next 5 years, we find out these are as deadly as cigarettes for your health, what happens then?
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Senior Oncologist Surgeon, Head and Neck Cancer Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital

The problem is that Big Tobacco has not revealed exactly what kinds of chemicals there are in the vapour liquid.

And that is concerning.

Health experts don’t trust them. Nobody should trust them. Their only motive is profit. Will you be naive enough to think that big tobacco firms want to help smokers quit?

After reading this, will you be prompted to quit vaping and smoking? Or you will wait for years and let the government wake up and ban the d*mn thing for you? Tweet to us, Facebook us, or drop your comments in the box below.

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