Monday September 25, 2023

Ban on nicotine addictive products to protect youth stressed

By Our Correspondent
August 31, 2023

Islamabad:As concerns continue to mount over the growing popularity and potential health risks associated with novel tobacco products, experts and health advocates are coming together to highlight the urgent need for comprehensive regulatory action to ban these products and protect public health. In a press release shared by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), health experts and activists called for immediate action to ban these products, says a press release.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) said that novel tobacco products, including flavoured electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), heated tobacco devices, and nicotine pouches, have gained traction in recent years, particularly among youth and vulnerable populations. Despite claims of being safer alternatives to traditional tobacco products, mounting evidence suggests otherwise.

Imran further pointed out that numerous nations and regions have already taken proactive measures to combat this issue, implementing bans or restrictions on flavoured e-cigarettes and other novel tobacco products. These steps are aimed at curbing youth initiation and mitigating potential health crises.

Dr. Ziauddin Islam, former Technical Head of the Tobacco Control Cell at the Ministry of Health, emphasized that a troubling surge in the consumption of novel tobacco products, especially among young individuals, is evident. These products contain addictive nicotine and harmful substances with the potential for enduring health consequences. Dr. Zia stressed the importance of adopting a proactive approach and giving precedence to public health through a ban on these products.

Dr. Zia further underscored the profound concerns arising from these novel tobacco products. Research indicates that the appeal of e-cigarette flavours significantly influences the initiation of nicotine use among young people. Moreover, the long-term health effects of inhaling heated tobacco and vaporised nicotine remain insufficiently understood, posing the risk of severe respiratory and cardiovascular complications.