Editorial: E-cigarettes and cancer

For those who want to quit smoking, e-cigarettes is seen as a transition before they finally get rid of the urge to puff smoke. But using this could be more deadly.

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environment watchdog, wants government to test e-cigarette products for acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, chemicals that can cause cancer. This came after the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), an institution based in Oakland, came out with a report: “A Smoking Gun: Cancer Causing Chemicals in E-Cigarettes,” which found formaldehyde exposures up to 473 times and acetaldehyde exposures up to 254 times the California’s safety levels, exposing users to significant amounts of these cancer-causing gases.

Apart from causing cancer, the report said that exposure may also cause birth defects, genetic damage and reduced fertility, according to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Health authorities should seriously look at the study cosidering the popularity of supposedly ‘harmless’ e-cigarettes among smokers.

In 2013, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has already cautioned users that “secondary exposure to e-cigarette emission might be harmful to health” similar to cigarettes. Since it has become quite the fad among the yuppies, the habit is easily copied by teens who want to look cool.

The e-cigarette, according to the FDA, “is contrary to the intent and provisions of Republic Act No. 9211, otherwise known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003,” which aims “to protect the youth from nicotine addiction and chronic respiratory diseases, including cancer, brought about by inhalation of thousands of highly toxic substances found in tobacco and cigarettes.”

Stopping addiction to smoking difficult. But if the smoker is really intent on getting rid of the habit, the city health office has a program that can help smokers. Quitting is the answer, not e-cigarettes.

Posted in Opinion