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What should be done to stop the use of e-cigarettes?

Doctors have diagnosed pneumonia in people who regularly used electronic cigarettes. Although the government is attempting to regulate the use of e-cigarettes, which are very popular with young people, they can easily be purchased online. Vientiane Times asked for opinions on how the use of these products should be controlled.

Lamphone Pasanthong

Mr Bualoy Phengphachan, a resident in Xaythany district: In my opinion, this problem should be addressed at the root instead of at the end of the process. By this I mean that businesses should not sell e-cigarettes or any product that contains nicotine, and none of these products should be imported. If we can stop the import of nicotine-based drugs, there will be fewer addicts. And laughing gas should also be prohibited. By attacking the root cause, we can solve the problem of addiction. We also need more rehabilitation centres where people can recover from addiction.

Ms Noy Luvan, a resident of Xaysettha district, Vientiane: As someone who has tried e-cigarettes, to begin with I felt refreshed and enjoyed the different tastes. I felt relaxed when I smoked but, as time went by, I could not stop and began smoking every minute because of the addictive substances they contain. I notice that many teenagers are using e-cigarettes nowadays which is not good news. The authorities should do something about this, otherwise there will be many more smokers in the future.

Ms Inpeang Boubpha, a resident of Xieng Khuang province: I think the authorities should ban e-cigarettes and the use of nitrous oxide. By taking a stand against these products, it will prevent young people and others who are unaware of the risks from doing something they don’t know much about. Parents should be educated about the dangers involved so they can warn their children about the consequences and health risks they face. If children are guided by their parents from a young age, it would greatly decrease the use of e-cigarettes. There should also be laws that either limit their use or prohibit it. And the law should be enforced. Educating the public and enforcing laws, I believe, will greatly decrease the use of e-cigarettes.

Ms Aliya Insyseingmai, an official in Vientiane: Although nicotine is a very addictive substance it’s relatively harmless. It’s the carbon monoxide, tar and other toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke that can cause serious damage to your health. The use of e-cigarettes is becoming more common because they do not contain tobacco or produce tar and carbon monoxide and are much less damaging to one’s health. But it’s best to remember not to use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products around young people. Not only are they likely to copy the behaviour of others, they’re also at risk of exposure to nicotine and other chemicals that can be harmful to their health. E-cigarettes are an important step in protecting children from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. Parents and other adults can do their part to reduce young people’s exposure to all types of cigarettes.

Mr Thanouphet, a resident of Luang Prabang city: I read in the news that if we smoke too much it can cause health problems because nicotine is addictive, although relatively harmless. E-cigarettes are also quite expensive. If we use them more than is advisable, we might not be able to avoid addiction. In the end, it’s up to the user to control their intake and if people use them appropriately, e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking altogether because they reduce the craving for nicotine.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update September 1, 2023)

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