Gateway drug: Wake-up call over e-cigarettes

Gateway drug: Wake-up call over e-cigarettes

THE World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes, concluding that they may not be all that useful to people trying to quit smoking. While vaping exposes users to lower levels of toxins than smoking, the WHO said the devices still pose “health risks.”

Tobacco companies have been aggressively marketing e-cigarettes in recent years as they seek new customers. The vaping industry is now largely controlled by the tobacco industry, whose dubious record on health issues is well documented.

What the WHO report shows is that, far from being a means to quit smoking altogether, vaping can become a gateway drug to smoking for young people. Even more worrying is the WHO finding that the majority of users continue to use e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes concurrently.

The organisation’s report is a wake-up call to those who switch to vaping as a ‘safer’ option. Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and most e-cigarettes, and it is not only a toxic substance but highly addictive.

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