Vietnam should ban electronic cigarettes

HANOI: 1.1% of Vietnamese adults smoke e-cigarettes, most of them think e-cigarettes are not addictive and cause disease.

This is the result of a survey on the situation of using electronic cigarettes in adults (GATS) in 2015, of the Ministry of Health. According to Ms. Phan Thi Hai, Deputy Director of the Tobacco Control Fund, this rate is definitely much higher, especially among young people. A new investigation into the state of e-cigarette smoking in Vietnam is being conducted by the Ministry of Health, which is expected to end in 2020.

“Vietnam should ban e-cigarettes,” Ms. Hai said at the seminar on sharing experiences in counseling and treatment for tobacco cessation, on November 13.

According to Hai, many tobacco companies are trying to convince governments that using e-cigarettes is a good way to quit classic cigarettes. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and health experts, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit. More dangerous, e-cigarettes also contain ingredients, chemicals, and flavorings to appeal to users. The world has recorded thousands of serious cases related to electronic cigarettes. Thousands of people in the United States suffered from respiratory failure, severe lung damage from the use of electronic cigarettes, 39 people died.

23 countries and states have completely banned e-cigarettes such as India, USA, South Korea … In the near future, the Ministry of Health will study to propose to the government and work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to manage, limit processing, proceeding to ban.

Doctor Pham Thi Le Quyen, Respiratory Center, Bach Mai Hospital, said nicotine contained in electronic cigarettes could not help people quit smoking. In fact, it makes smokers switch from traditional cigarette smoking to electronic cigarettes. In addition to nicotine, there are also flavorings, additives, if not strictly controlled, can be mixed with drugs. Analysis of ingredients in electronic cigarette smoke has detected carcinogens such as benzene … like regular cigarettes.

“Electronic cigarettes are not less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but also have many other potential risks that we have not yet fully assessed,” said Dr. Quyen.

For cigarettes in general, there are about 15 million Vietnamese adults smoking. Each year the percentage of smokers only decreases by 1-1.5%.

Respiratory centers, Bach Mai Hospital, receives 15-30 lung and respiratory patients on average, about two-thirds of whom have a history of smoking and tobacco use.

“On average, one cigarette contains 1 to 3 mg of nicotine, which affects the brain. Nicotine is classified as an addictive substance similar to drugs, heroin and cocaine, so it is very arduous and requires detoxification. addiction must be very determined, “said Dr. Quyen.

Since the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Health’s counseling service for free smoking detoxification (18006606) has consulted nearly 8,000 calls. More than 3,600 patients participating in the active cessation counseling program from April 2017 to September 2019 had 750 successful detoxification cases, equivalent to the world average.