All states should ban vaping like Johor


  • Letters
  • Thursday, 03 Dec 2015

I REFER to the front page headline “11 ­– and hooked on vape” (The Star, Dec 2).

It is absolutely shocking and baffling that even primary school- children have taken the bait and are getting hooked on vaping. No wonder the Johor Sultan has received widespread support in banning vaping in Johor.

I hope the legislators or local councils will act fast to pass laws or by-laws against vaping nationwide before more children especially will be addicted.

Truly, E-cigarettes have become the fashionable new electronic toy for many teenagers and young adults, and now among primary schoolkids.

According to a United States survey, e-cigarettes surpassed cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product by middle school and high school students.

As pointed out in the editorial (The Star, Dec 2), it is questionable and doubtful that the inhalation of any foreign substances (hallucinogenic or otherwise) can ever be considered normal.

Many doctors have voiced their concern over the risk of addiction of e-cigarettes. Data from a growing number of studies indicate that electronic cigarettes are far from harmless – chemicals in e-cigarettes can damage lung tissue and reduce the lungs’ ability to keep germs and other harmful substances from entering the body.

Like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, notwithstanding its soaring popularity among young adults including females, should be kept firmly out of the hands of adolescents, particularly primary schoolchildren who innocently and ignorantly view vaping as trendy and harmless.

Unlike true cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco. In fact, they do not burn anything. Instead, the battery-operated devices turn a flavoured liquid into a vapour.

Users inhale, or vape, the mist. The liquid usually contains nicotine, a natural stimulant in tobacco that is highly addictive. Also in the liquid are solvents, flavourings and who knows what else.

Sadly, despite a public perception to the contrary, vaping to the young adults does not seem to be addictive and harmless.

the vapers brag about being able to use e-cigarettes indoors where smoking is banned, that e-cigarettes cost far less than cigarettes and that their colours, potency and flavours could be personalised to deliver a truly indivi­dual experience.

More worrisome is that some students have admitted that their throats become dry and scratchy with vaping. Some said that ­vaping made them choke. Surprising­ly, we seldom hear of smokers complaining of this adverse effect.

We can therefore safely conclude that vaping is not safer than smoking; it is equally bad though not worse yet.

However, if the authorities in other states do not follow Johor’s example, soon many of our youths will have a bleak future in terms of their health, which ultimately will affect our national healthcare budget.

Without action, there will be no restrictions in place to protect public health against the risks these products pose, particularly to the health of our children.

I urge the powers-to-be to act before it is too late.

THOMAS KOK

Ipoh

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