VIJAYAWADA: The youth of Vijayawada have taken to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs), which puts them at a risk of getting addicted to yet another form of nicotine-intake.
The trend of ‘vaping’, inhaling and exhaling the smoke produced by e-cigs, is becoming popular among youngsters, mostly intermediate and college going students. The e-cigarette is a battery powered vaporizer which simulates the feeling of smoking without burning tobacco. Instead of tobacco, e-cigs produce vapour by heating a liquid which contains a mix of nicotine, a flavour and some chemicals, which is filled in its cartridge. The vapour is inhaled through a pipe.
However, consumers who are vaping, which is comparatively less harmful than smoking, also have a high chance of facing health complications involving the heart, reproductive system, lung and kidneys.
Objecting to the sale and usage of these cigarettes in the city, members of Consumer Guidance Society (CGS) wrote a letter to the Chief Minister and Health Minister, urging them to impose an immediate ban on these products.
“These electronic cigarettes are also called electronic nicotine delivery systems(ENDS). Though the fluid does not contain tobacco, it will get the youth addicted to nicotine and make them take on another addiction,” said Ch Divakar Babu, Secretary, CGS.
Doctors too expressed their concern over the dangerous trend and told TNIE that many cases of e-cigarette addiction were observed in recent days.
“Teens think the product is fashionable, and get addicted to it. Parents have begun admitting their children to de-addiction centres. In our hospital alone, 200-300 people are admitted monthly,” said Vishal Reddy, Psychiatrist at VIMHANS. Another misconception is that e-cigarettes help quit smoking. When TNIE asked police about the unabated sale of electronic cigarettes at shops, they said there is no provision in law to ban the sale. “We have nothing to do with the usage and sale of e-cigarettes or e-liquids containing nicotine,” said a senior police official.