Durban – The World Health Organisation (WHO) urged urgent action against the popular e-cigarettes adored by teens, which are considered as highly addictive toxic substances that are harmful to health.
E-cigarette popularly known as vaping are not shown to be effective for quitting tobacco use according to health experts, but alarming evidence has emerged on hostile population health effects.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said children are being trapped at an early age to use vaping.
“Children recruited may get hooked on nicotine. I urge countries to implement strict measures to prevent uptake to protect their citizens, especially the children and young people,” said Ghebreyesus.
The research findings from a survey conducted by the University of Pretoria in 2021, among 6 081 young adults aged 18 to 34 show an association between the use of e-cigarettes, or “vaping” devices, and potential health risks and socio-economic effect.
Director of the Africa Centre for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research Professor Olalekan Ayo-Yusuf said it is concerning that the e-cigarette companies target young people, enticing them to start “vaping”.
“This not only increases the risk of addiction and adverse health effects, but also diverts limited resources away from essential food purchases, potentially compromising their nutrition and development,” he said.
The WHO furthermore, stated that more 13-15 year-old are using vaping than adults in all WHO regions helped by aggressive marketing.
“Thirty-four countries banned the sale of e-cigarettes, 88 countries have no minimum age at which e-cigarettes can be bought and 74 countries have no regulations in place for these harmful products,” it said.
The WHO also called on the government to change the regulation of products and controlling the conditions under which the products are accessed to ensure appropriate clinical conditions.
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