World No Tobacco Day 2024: E-cigarettes and vapes are harmful

In India, over 40% of male malignancies and 20% of female cancers are caused by tobacco usage.
World No Tobacco Day 2024: E-cigarettes and vapes are harmful

May 31 is recognized as World No Tobacco Day. Tobacco use, whether cigarette or smokeless, is directly linked to cancer. Tobacco causes approximately 15 different types of cancer. Tobacco use is responsible with two out of every five malignancies in men and one out of every five in women in India. Tobacco use can harm practically any region of the body. It causes cardiovascular difficulties, chest infections, and cholesterol disorders. It also has an impact on fertility and is the major cause of preventable diseases.

According to certain sources, tobacco and cancer are linked. For example, a mixture of hazardous chemicals (carcinogens) in tobacco and nicotine not only creates addiction but also wrecks havoc on cellular structures, resulting in mutations and, ultimately, cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classed both cigarette smoke and smokeless tobacco as Group I carcinogens. Tobacco causes a variety of cancers: Smoking causes a variety of cancers, including mouth/throat, voice box, blood, kidney, urinary bladder, oesophagus, lungs, liver, pancreas, stomach, colon, and rectum.

In India, tobacco use causes almost 40% of male cancers and 20% of female cancers. Meghalaya has the greatest proportion of cancer cases in both genders, with 65% in men and 42% in women. Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh) has the lowest male rate (24%), while Pasighat has the lowest female rate (6.9%). Women use smokeless tobacco six times more than cigarettes, marking a significant cultural difference. Female smokers are twice as likely as males to develop lung cancer. Vaping is effective for quitting cigarettes: Adults can effectively quit smoking with e-cigarettes. While 10% of smokers are likely to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes. With other approaches, this figure is 7%. The aggressive marketing of e-cigarettes has resulted in an increase in their use among adolescents and young adults. Nicotine's addictive potential (which is also present in e-cigarettes) may indicate that children who vape are more likely to become cigarette smokers. We may be causing the next smoking epidemic by allowing young people to become addicted to e-cigarettes at an early age.

The negative effects of vaping: Vaping is safer than smoking, yet it is still dangerous. A single cigarette requires 10-15 puffs and lasts five to eight minutes. One vape provides 600 puffs, which is equivalent to 50 cigarettes, albeit with less nicotine. Nicotine is burned at extremely high temperatures (350 degrees Celsius) while vaping. This results in water-retaining excipients such as propylene glycol and glycerin, both of which induce pulmonary irritation. Metals in the heating coil could leach metals, whereas flavorings could cause bronchitis. E-vaping-associated lung injuries (EVALI) are also possible.