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    ‘Vaping a growing epidemic’


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    Vaping: Health Experts Call for Stricter Controls to Curb Unhealthy Habit

    In recent years, vaping has reached epidemic proportions, according to health experts who are now advocating for more stringent controls on this unhealthy habit. The British Medical Association (BMA) has also raised concerns about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette usage. Dr Murallitharan Munisamy, Chairman of the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC), pointed out that even non-smokers are now taking up vaping due to false marketing claims that vaping is less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes. He also highlighted the alarming trend of people who switch from vaping to smoking for a better high.

    Dr Murallitharan emphasized that nicotine, regardless of its delivery method through conventional cigarettes or vaping devices, is highly harmful and dangerous. He asserted that young people who have never smoked should not start vaping as it can lead to addiction. He further mentioned that countries like Britain, Australia, and New Zealand have realized their mistake in allowing unrestricted availability of vapes, and they have now implemented regulations. To address this issue, Malaysia needs legislative controls, as well as awareness and educational campaigns to prevent young people below 18 from accessing vapes.

    Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, a public health advocate and former Health Ministry official, echoed the concerns of health experts, stating that poor regulation and the popularity of vaping among young people have contributed to it becoming a new and growing epidemic. He called for increased awareness through educational campaigns and emphasized the need for counseling, support programs, and resources to help individuals quit vaping and overcome nicotine addiction. Dr Zainal also stressed the importance of conducting research and surveillance to understand the trend of vaping and its long-term health effects.

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    In response to these alarming concerns, the British Medical Association is set to review the dangers of e-cigarettes. The motion passed during the association’s annual representative meeting calls for restrictions on marketing and cracking down on illegal sales to children. Doctors are also proposed to include e-nicotine use history in patient examinations. The last position paper on vaping issued by the BMA was in 2017.

    Credit: The Star : News Feed

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