Risks of ‘vaping’ use exaggerated, says UK health expert

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Kuala Lumpur , 23 Sept 2015 –

The risks of e-cigarette use, or “vaping”, have been exaggerated by a health specialist concerned with the matter.

Public Health England (PHE) expert Prof Gerry Stimson said substantial international research on the toxicology of e-cigarettes — summarised in the recent Public Health England report — showed that they were considerably less risky than smoking tobacco.

“Electronic cigarettes are attracting very few people who have never smoked.

“The sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in Malaysia, but that ban is clearly unenforceable and not working.

“Banning e-cigarettes is not a good policy option as the government has no control over safety and quality,” he told .

However, Stimson said the answer was to regulate e-cigarettes as consumer goods.

Stimson — who was keeping track of the issue in Malaysia — said while vaping may not be 100% safe, most of the chemicals causing smoking-related disease were absent and the chemicals which were present posed a limited danger.

Stimson pointed to existing e-cigarette standards from the British Standards Institution and Afnor, the French standards organisation.

“Within a year, all European countries will be able to approve e-cigarettes on the market. The UK and Ireland now have codes of advertising practice for e-cigarettes.

“E-cigarettes are a sensible choice for smokers who can’t do without nicotine. Proper consumer standards will give Malaysian e-cigarette users assurance about the products they buy.”

National news agency Bernama recently quoted a University of Malaya Specialist Centre consultant psychiatrist and smoking cessation specialist as saying that the use of electronic cigarettes was dangerous due to the nicotine content in its liquid.

Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin told reporters at the International Conference of Addiction Prevention and Treatment 2015 (ICAPT 2015) that it was a matter of concern that dealers “mixed the liquid, based on demand by clients without knowing its contents”.

“There is no proof saying that vape is safe for use… and we are worried when the dealer mixes the liquids without knowing it will have adverse effects on the consumer’s health,” Dr Amer Siddiq had said

Dr Amer Siddiq said enforcement of the law against using vape was necessary to prevent the public, specifically youths, from starting the smoking habit. – The Rakyat Post

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