Many chain smokers express the desire to kick the dangerous puffing habit. Indeed quitting smoking is one of the best things one can do for one’s health, medical practitioners keep emphasizing. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease, for instance, are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke. But how to go about giving up the deeply ingrained habit. Is smoking electronic cigarette, also called vaping, the answer? Not really, if one considers the disturbing reports emanating from the United States where e-cigarettes have become all the rage.
A patient who had recently been vaping died in the US after developing severe lung disease, as authorities scrambled to find the cause behind almost 200 more potential cases. As of Friday, there were 193 cases across 22 states of potential cases of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarette use since the end of June, according to figures released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a US federal agency. The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous, said a key health department official based in Illinois. E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006, and are sometimes used as an aid to quit smoking traditional tobacco products like cigarettes. Their use among adolescents has skyrocketed in recent years:
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 do, however, contain nicotine, which has been studied for decades and is known to be highly addictive. A disconcerting aspect of the rising trend of vaping is that people who would have never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2019.