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November 15, 2019

HDF holds session on growing issue of vaping


November 15, 2019

Islamabad :Human Development Foundation (HDF) on Tuesday held a session to address the growing issue of electronic cigarettes and vaping. Studies conducted in different countries have shown that electronic cigarettes have gained immense popularity and their use has increased dramatically all over the world, resulting in what is termed as the ‘E-Cigarette and Vaping Epidemic.’

The lack of research on the resulting health hazards of E-Cigarettes has led to nurturing the myth that E-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. E-Cigarette is a machine which contains a vaporizer. By heating the liquid in it, it produces nicotine infused smoke that provides the effect of a conventional cigarette without the actual use of tobacco. It has been promoted as one of methods of managing nicotine addiction among smokers. However, this has resulted in higher awareness and use of E-cigarettes among youth, mainly teenagers.

Azhar Saleem, CEO HDF, stated that tobacco industry has been advertising E-Cigarettes as an alternative for smoking. However, the current E-Cigarette epidemic among youth falsifies their claims of helping smokers quit by switching to E-Cigarettes as a safer alternative. Youth around the world has been hooked on to this new menace through introducing over 7,000 flavors and 460 brands which specifically appeal to youngsters. A starting step towards becoming conventional nicotine users, the flavored E-Cigarettes have been a tactic used by tobacco industry to capture a younger market in order to ensure long term customers for their products. He also stated that several studies conducted in major cities of Pakistan have shown that the trend has been on a rise here as well, mainly in the educational institutes.

Azhar also mentioned that the surge in the use of tobacco imposes a huge worry on public health and it has been linked to significant increases in chances of incurring heart diseases, strokes and lung cancers. Extensive research is carried out in the USA about the harmful effects of E-Cigarettes and the results are shocking. He 9said that tobacco consumption cannot be reduced by addressing the menace of conventional tobacco products only. There is a dire need for creating awareness among youth about the harmful effects of E-Cigarettes as well.

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