Don't be fooled by e-cigarettes, warn UAE doctors – Khaleej Times

Doctors in the UAE are urging e-cigarette users to be aware of the health risks from the practice of vaping and say e-cigarettes are just as harmful as smoking tobacco.

Millions of cigarette smokers around the world, including in the UAE, want to kick the habit and have switched to what they believe is a healthier and safer alternative which is equally dangerous.

Viral videos show e-cigarettes exploding in users’ pockets and hands, often causing severe disfigurement, but doctors warn that vaping may also cause cancer and heart disease due to deadly chemicals that users inhale.

Dr Georgey Koshy, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Cardiology, Universal Hospital, said there are no legitimate studies backing up the safety of e-cigarettes. “There is no real research conducted to prove the devices are safe alternatives to smoking regular cigarettes.”

“There are many brands available out there, so there is no standardisation on e-cigarettes.”

The UAE follows World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and the Ministry of Health has banned the import and sale of e-cigarettes.

However, vapes are becoming widely used as a nicotine replacement therapy, and Dr Koshy urges greater awareness about the dangers of the habit.

There is no denying the fact that e-cigarettes have harmful substances as part of their main ingredients, including bezel, which is a petroleum-based product that is also found in traditional cigarettes.

“Some researchers claim that e-cigarettes are up to 95 per cent safer than regular cigarettes, yet there are no proper studies to compare the two methods.”

Dr Koshy said vaping also attracts “fresh smokers who have never ever  smoked cigarettes in their lives.”

“Non-smokers believe e-cigarettes are safe and begin smoking vapes, but eventually move on to traditional cigarettes.” He noted that the most efficient way to quit smoking is to use nicotine patches or chewing gum.

Dr Jairam Aithal, Consultant, Cardiovascular Disease, Burjeel Hospital,

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