Tuesday 19 November 2019

Lung specialists step up calls for ban on ‘harmful’ e-cigarettes

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch lung specialists have called for a total ban on e-cigarettes on the grounds that they cause lung disease and do nothing to prevent smoking.

‘We want a complete ban on e-cigarettes in the Netherlands,  Leon van Toorn, of lung specialists’ association NVALT told AD. The association, which last month conducted a survey among its member to gauge the extent of the problem in the Netherlands, said the number of Dutch people reporting lung problems after vaping has risen from three to eight.

One patient had to be admitted to intensive care because of the severity of his symptoms. None of the patients had had lung problems before.

Van Toorn said he had attended a conference in Madrid last week which warned against vaping. ‘It showed convincingly that we can under no circumstances recommend the use of e-cigarettes,’ he said.

‘There is no scientific proof whatsoever for the claim that it is 95% less damaging that cigarettes and it looks as if only a very tiny number of people have stopped smoking by taking up vaping.’

Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said in a response that the data the specialists have gathered will be included in the ongoing investigation into the safety of e-cigarettes. A total ban is not on the cards at the moment, Blokhuis said, because he is bound by European rules.

The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 1080 cases of lung disease and 21 deaths associated with vaping. It is not known which of the ingredients being inhaled is causing the disease, although in a number of cases THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, may have played a part. There have not been any incidences of disease on this scale in Europe so far, the paper said.

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