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Electronic Cigarettes “Vaping” Becoming Popular Among Thai Youths

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BANGKOK – Despite realizing the possible dangers of electronic cigarette (E-cigarette), as many as 14 per cent of Thai youths continue to vape.

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (Ends), of which electronic cigarettes — or in short e-cigarettes — are the most common form, have become a subject of concern not just in Thailand but also around the globe.

A joint survey conducted recently on 1,647 persons aged between 15-25 nationwide by Thailand Youth Institute and the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand (ASH Thailand) found that 39 per cent of total respondents understood well that the E-cigarette is designed to help smokers quit tobacco cigarette and 28 per cent are willing to stop puffing E-cigarette after learning its danger.

But, unfortunately, 14 per cent of the total respondents say they would continue puffing E-cigarette, according to the survey.

Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, president of ASH Thailand, said that several countries have introduced the E-cigarette for sale only a few years ago and it is now  popular among youths worldwide.

About 3.6 million American youths are now addicted to E-cigarette, a sharp soar of 900 per cent in just four years, said Dr Prakit, adding that it contains mainly nicotine which could endanger brain as well as heart beat and brain cells of human.

Moreover, nicotine containing in each E-cigarette is about 20 times higher than one tobacco cigarette, he said.

Only recently a US disease control centre has announced that E-cigarette  is the country’s public health crisis.

For Thailand, every concerned sector must jointly pool serious campaigns to fight against it and assist children or youths to have better understanding about their danger.

Apart from having been widespread among the young Thais, e-cigarettes and e-barakus available for sale in Thailand are mostly substandard. He also believes these electronic devices eventually lead to more people opting for real cigarettes, Dr  Prakit added.