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More dangerous than cigarettes: Understand the risks of vaping

More dangerous than cigarettes: Understand the risks of vaping


Studies show that the use of electronic cigarettes (vapes) is increasingly widespread among adolescents, as well as being more dangerous than normal cigarettes.

Today is World No Tobacco Day (31/05) and, this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen to focus on protecting children from tobacco industry interference. The estimate is that 37 million young people, between 13 and 15 years old, use tobacco. The new gateway to smoking for this public is the electronic cigarette, the famous vape.




Focus on the youngest

Under the theme “Young people take action and speak out”, WHO wants to encourage them to ask public authorities to protect them from the predatory marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, which currently targets young people.

The goal is to draw your attention to a product with a modern look and very attractive aromas and aromatic additives, but behind this smoke screen hides another tobacco derivative that causes addiction, illness and death.

“Any tobacco derivative is harmful to individual and collective health, but it is profitable for the manufacturer. And nicotine addiction is the key part of this business. Camouflaged insertion tactics are used on social networks and short video platforms, especially through the use by some influential person It is the new positioning of the sector”, says pulmonologist Gustavo Prado of the Alemão Oswaldo Cruz Hospital.

“Forbidden to publish advertising messages in magazines, newspapers, television and other media, this industry tries to advertise its new products in a more hidden way, disguised as spontaneity and often viral,” adds the expert.

Another point that WHO raises with the campaign is that, globally, adolescents aged 13 to 15 use e-cigarettes more than adults.

Risk and ban on vaping

“Pendrive”, vape, pod, pen, there are various devices that introduce young people to tobacco and nicotine addiction. When vaporized and inhaled, the substances used in these devices can cause as much harm as regular cigarettes.

Because they contain very high concentrations of nicotine, often processed to be absorbed more quickly, these “cigarettes” are probably even faster than conventional ones.

In Brazil, the ban on the import, advertising and sale of electronic cigarettes has been in force since 2009. Last month the Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) published a resolution maintaining restrictions on the product in the country. However, it is not difficult to find the device for sale on websites, as well as inputs (e-liquids) used for smoking.

According to the pulmonologist, flavor and flavor additives were developed decades ago so that the tobacco industry targeted its products at children and adolescents. This makes them more attractive and reduces uncomfortable perceptions in the first consumer experiences.

“The presence of these additives in electronic cigarettes, as well as the design of more attractive, practical and easy-to-use products, everywhere, as well as often being more discreet as they do not generate smoke, as they do not involve combustion, and are less noticeable to others, facilitates its use and circumvents consumption bans in closed places”, added the expert.

Less harmful than cigarettes?

According to the pulmonologist, the idea of ​​using e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to conventional smoking is a misleading argument. Generally used by those who defend the manufacturers of these products.

After all, there is already robust published evidence that vapes and burned tobacco cigarettes equate the risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, and oral disease. Furthermore, there is growing suspicion that they cause the same types of cancer as cigarettes.

Furthermore, the transition from conventional cigarettes to electronic devices very often leads to the conversion to a dual consumption model. In other words, using conventional cigarettes in conjunction with vaporizers, which has been proven to cause more harm than either alone.

What science says

A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held earlier this month in the United States, found that it is not yet clear whether switching to e-cigarettes after quitting smoking reduces future risk of lung cancer. Therefore, the only safe strategy to reduce your cancer risk is to actually quit smoking.

Another study published last week in South Korea found that people who stopped smoking cigarettes and started using electronic devices were more likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn’t use vapes.

It was the first large population-based study in the country to demonstrate an increased risk of lung cancer in e-cigarette users after quitting smoking, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital said.

“There is great concern among oncologists, despite the lack of proven causality between the use of e-cigarettes and cancer, as in tobacco use. But there is a carcinogenic potential, in addition to the flavors and chemicals. It is a It’s a matter of time before there are reports of cancer caused by vaping,” said Carlos Henrique Teixeira, coordinator of the lung center at the Specialized Oncology Center of the Alemão Oswaldo Cruz Hospital.

Public health problem

Smoking is a public health problem. The condition is characterized as a chronic disease caused by addiction to nicotine found in cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, pipes and vaporizers.

According to the WHO, smoking can contribute to the development of over 50 diseases. The data includes tumors of the oral and nasal cavities, larynx, lung, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, intestine, kidney, breast, ovary, bladder and cervix. Additionally, diseases such as tuberculosis, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart attack and stroke.

In Brazil, according to the Inca (National Cancer Institute), 443 people die every day due to smoking. The SUS spends approximately R$125 billion on the harm caused by addiction and the economy as a whole. Furthermore, according to an Inca estimate, just over 161,000 deaths would be avoided every year by avoiding smoking.

Source: Terra

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