You will not be surprised to learn that the situation remains difficult for the e-cigarette in Thailand. Sharing the same concerns as many other countries, Thailand still hesitates to fully open its doors to the famous device. Some health specialists like the Dr. Suwannapa tries to decipher the interest of vaping products while taking into account the effects of the growing controversy.
Le Dr. Suwannapa cited a report published in 2017 by the Center for Research and Knowledge Management on Tobacco Control in which high school students and students were interviewed. About 2 000 subjects, about 30% of high school students reported having used the e-cigarette at least once. The situation was even more important among university students, where 60% of them admitted having already used a vaping device.
« The danger is that a large number of students have access to the e-cigarette"Said Dr. Suwannapa. " Like heroin, nicotine easily creates an addiction. This could lead to an increase in the number of smokers in the future. When students become addicted to nicotine, they could end up smoking traditional or electronic cigarettes. In both cases, they remain drug addicts ".
Unfortunately, vaping products are currently making headlines around the world after an outbreak of serious lung disease in the United States that could be associated with the use of the e-cigarette (actually the consumption of THC adulterated).
« These tragic deaths in Illinois reinforce the serious risks associated with vaping products. Vape exposes users to many substances for which we have little information on the associated harms, including flavors, nicotine, cannabinoids and solvents. Said the Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC in a statement.
MORE NICOTINE WITH THE E-CIGARETTE THAN WITH THE "CLASSIC" CIGARETTE?
« A traditional cigarette could contain, for example, 8 mg of nicotine, of which about 1 to 2 mg by the body. But in an electronic cigarette, the e-liquid can hold up to 18 mg of nicotine, which could mean that the body gets 5 -10 times the amount of a traditional cigarette "She explained.
Dr. Suwannapa states that only 5 to 9% of smokers were able to quit smoking after using vaping devices as a method of quitting. This rate is relatively low compared to nicotine replacement, which gives a success rate of 15 to 20%, or drug, with a success rate of 27%. Even smokers who would stop smoking alone without relying on any help would have a success rate of 10 to 15% ...
« People opt for e-cigarettes because they think they are less harmful [than traditional cigarettes]"She continued. Since there are hundreds of brands available, with thousands of e-liquid varieties, it is almost impossible to regulate the market.
« If e-liquid was available in hospital pharmacies and doctors could prescribe it as for nicotine replacement therapy, then we could consider it as a controlled drug. But the situation is not the same anymore. Use of the e-cigarette as a smoking cessation aid is not approved and users may be exposed to other toxic chemicals. Additional studies are needed to determine long-term side effects . »
The regulation of e-cigarettes in Thailand is a highly controversial issue. Dr. Suwannapa recognizes that stakeholders have different perspectives on devices.
« Whether or not you favor the e-cigarette depends on your personal point of view. Clearly, smokers want devices to be widely available so they can easily access and satisfy their desires"She said. " But as medical staff, we do not want drugs in the country at all. The expansion of the e-cigarette market directly affects our children. »
« Children and teenagers are curious by nature. It is our duty to protect them. It's like toddlers, who are fascinated by electrical outlets and want to stick their fingers"Said Dr. Suwannapa. " The same applies to the e-cigarette. We must prevent young people from having access to it. »