আপডেট: এপ্রিল ২৬, ২০২১
“E-cigarettes: A New Threat to Young Generation and Potential Approach to Prevent It”
…. ………….. Farhana Zaman Liza
Hit-not-burn or e-cigarette is a new weapon to trigger the young generation in the destructive path of addiction. Although this electronic cigarette is marketed as an alternative to ordinary or conventional cigarette, it is actually an addictive product. It is also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). There is a cell in these battery-powered devices and looks like an ordinary cigarette. It is filled with a special type of liquid mixture. The device heats up and evaporates the liquid and the user inhales the vapor into the lungs, which gives the feeling of smoking. This method is called ‘vaping’.
Health risks of E-Cigarettes :
The World Health Organization (WHO)has identified these products as injurious to health, regardless of their different users’ friendly name like heat-not-burn or E-Cigarettes. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, using of e-cigarette can cause heart attacks, strokes and lung damage. A study in Japan found that e-cigarettes are ten times more harmful than regular cigarettes. According to a study by the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, the ingredients found in e-cigarettes can cause cancer by crippling various cells in the human body. E-cigarette liquids contains propylene glycol, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, various flavors, and nicotine. When they heat up, these chemicals produce the same amount of formaldehyde like the smoke of ordinary cigarette, causing irreparable damage to the blood circulation in the human body. Prof. Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California, San Franciso (UCSF), says that ordinary cigarettes do not cause such damage as e-cigarettes do. E-cigarette’s smoke also contains microscopic chemical particles, which are deadly detrimental to the human body. It can cause sore throat, nausea and chronic cough. Acrolein, a product made from heated glycerin in e-cigarettes, damages the lungs very quickly and increases users’ risk of heart disease. In e-cigarettes Propylene glycol is used to make artificial smoke. It irritates the lungs and eyes and is responsible for various diseases of the lungs like as- asthma and emphysema. E-cigarettes also contain aerosols which are extremely injurious. It damages the veins, causes various types of inflammation in the body and creates pressure on the nerves. Various types of toxic metals have been found inside the aerosol of e-cigarettes. Such as: tin, nickel, cadmium, lead, mercury etc. A study on 7,505 male ENDS users in South Korea was published in the journal named Nature in 2020; found that instead of quitting 85 percent of them became traditional cigarettes and vapors users. High risk of heart disease was observed in test participants.  The deception of the tobacco company/ The lies of the tobacco company Over the past few years, tobacco companies have introduced heat-not-burn or e-cigarettes as less harmful as well as a smoking cessation material (smoking quitting tool). However, no success has been found in e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Basically, e-cigarettes are marketed as “healthy and trendy products” in about 6,000 different flavors like fruit, soft drinks, chocolate, mint, and various other flavors, mainly to arouse the curiosity and addiction among teenagers. The main purpose of this work is to confuse the policy makers and encourage the youth to use this new drug product. The Union Position Paper on E-cigarettesand HTP sales in LMICs has been published by the international organization The Union. According to The Union in the position paper, the main target of the industries is the young generation. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) has revealed that young people are addicted to e-cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes does not help to quit smoking rather smokers become addicted to both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The Union has recommended an immediate ban on e-cigarettes. A study by the American Surgeon General found that e-cigarette is used among young people aged 18-24 doubled between 2013 and 2014. The study demonstrated that less than 0.02 percent of people quit smoking using e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are being banned in different countries of the world The effects of vaping or e-cigarette use are discussed after six deaths and many lung complications in the United States and e-cigarettes have since been banned on the basis of various data and evidence. E-cigarettes have also been banned in our neighboring country India. Many countries around the world are aware of the growing use of e-cigarettes, and 42 countries have already banned e-cigarettes altogether, while 58 more have imposed restrictions on e-cigarette sales. In addition, many more countries have banned e-cigarettes in certain provinces.
Current situation of e-cigarettes in Bangladesh :
A study by the Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC), a research cell at Dhaka International University, found that e-cigarette shops have been set up university-centric to attract young people of Bangladesh. To draw the attention of the young generation, they are illegally creating various types of advertisements and broadcast the ads on YouTube, Facebook, website, and other social media. They are also encouraging those, who want to quit smoking, through some of their own doctors to use e-cigarettes instead of conventional cigarettes. Legal constraints According to a study by TCRC, there is no individual law on e-cigarettes in Bangladesh, so e-cigarettes are being imported and sold everywhere in Bangladesh at very affordable prices. Not only in shops or markets, e-cigarettes are also being sold in online markets. At present 0.2% of people use e-cigarettes but it is easy to assume that this number will increase soon. Currently 8.2% of smokers think about quitting smoking but the tobacco company is trying to get them addicted to e-cigarettes again through their strategy/deceptive tactics/ gerrymander. Therefore, necessary steps must be taken now to ban its use. Prior to 2018, there were no laws, guidelines or restrictions on the import of e-cigarettes in Bangladesh. But section 22 of Bangladesh Finance Act 2018,Law number 22, Heading No 38.24, H.S. Code 3824.99.40. Description of Goods: Refil for Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), and Heading No 85.43, H.S. Code 8543.70.50 e-cigarettes are being imported to Bangladesh easily. Recommendations It is possible to control the use of e-cigarettes through an explicit definition of tobacco products given in the existing Tobacco Control Act in Bangladesh. It is also possible to ban the import and sale of e-cigarettes through Section 5 of the Drug (Control) Ordinance 1982 of the Department of Drug Administration. Although e-cigarettes are not very popular in Bangladesh, cigarette companies are currently promoting e-cigarettes of various flavors and using different techniques to encourage the use of e-cigarettes among the youth, which poses a serious threat to our young generation. To this end, immediate steps need to be taken to amend the existing tobacco control laws. So, e-cigarettes should be stopped now to protect the young generation of Bangladesh before it is too late.
Those who want to quit smoking are encouraging to use e-cigarettes instead of conventional cigarettes by the tobacco companies and their appointed doctors. It is now necessary to enact strict laws and strictly enforce the existing laws to prevent the spread of e-cigarettes. The World Health Organization (WHO) says e-cigarettes should be controlled right now.It is a hopeful statement by Advocate Fazle Rabbi Mia, Hon’ble Deputy Speaker of the Bangladesh National Parliament, at a discussion meeting organized by the Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC) on November 3, 2020, he said, “E-cigarettes must be stopped by issuing a special ordinance.”[4,5] In addition, 150 Parliament Members of the National Parliament recently urge Prime Minister to ban e-cigarettes.[6,7,8]
Farhana Zaman Liza
Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC)
Dhaka International University