The Thai government today confirmed its stance against vaping, saying e-cigarettes affect the health of vapers, more than half of whom are considered to be young people.
Yesterday, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the need to continue banning e-cigarette imports to protect young people from health risks from vaping when speaking at a national conference on cigarettes and public health held in Bangkok.
A survey conducted last year by the National Statistical Office of Thailand found that more than half of the approximately 80,000 e-cigarette smokers in Thailand were people aged 15 to 24. “This clearly showed that vaping has created new smokers, especially young people, while a growing body of international studies have shown that smoking e-cigarettes has negative effects on the brains of young people,” said Anutin.
He learned from other countries experiences in dealing with vaping issues and said Thailand has found that there is currently no other option more effective in controlling vaping than banning e-cigarette imports. The crackdown on e-cigarettes smuggled into the country will also continue to limit access to the products on the black market, he said.
Vaping is associated with a 1.8 times higher risk of ischemic heart disease, a 49% higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a 39% higher risk of asthma, he said, citing the American Heart Association. Exposure to vapor containing nicotine, directly or indirectly, affects the brains of unborn babies and has been linked to a number of health problems, including some irregularities with their nervous system, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and low birth weight.
“Vaping during this stage of life reduces brain development by three to four times the normal rate of development,” Anutin claimed.
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