Doctors in Thailand have come out strongly against a proposal by the Thai Government to legalize the sale of e-cigarettes and vapers.
The Medical Association of Thailand sent an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asking him to caution the Digital Economy and Society Minister.
The open letter from doctors of the Medical Association of Thailand was also supported by heads of other organizations, 14 royal colleges and the National Alliance for Tobacco-Free Thailand.
In the open letter, Dr. Amorn said that in his proposal to the cabinet on Sept 28 Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, openly showed he fully supported the legalization of the sale of vapers and e-cigarettes.
Controversy over e-cigarettes and vaping
His support for legalizing e-cigarettes and vapers comes despite the Commerce and Public Health ministries having no policy their importation legally.
Dr. Amorn said e-cigarettes and Vapers were produced by the tobacco industry to replace ordinary tobacco cigarettes. Furthermore, results from worldwide research showed e-cigarettes and Vapers were clearly hazardous.
In the United States, where e-cigarettes and Vapers are legal and causing addiction among young people. Even more, many young people who had not smoked before were becoming addicted to vaping.
He said e-cigarettes, like tobacco cigarettes, contained nicotine, an addictive substance that can cause many chronic diseases. These diseases end up costing the Thai Government costly treatments.
Liquid flavouring from flowers and fruits is also added to the fluid used in the vapers that give it a sweet smell. But these substances may lead to cancer or lung disease after being heated and inhaled, he said.
Help people quit smoking
Meanwhile, Thailand’s president of the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand, AM Anutara Jittinand, said producers of e-cigarettes and vapers did not give full information about their vape products.
They only state that e-cigarettes and Vapers can help people quit smoking. Even more, they don’t say how to quit after becoming addicted to vaping.
Advertisements posted on social media by e-cigarette and vaping products producers entice young people to try vaping. They do this for money despite their product being harmful to the user’s health. This will in the future damage the healthcare system and the economy.
Now many Countries’ young people have become addicted to vaping. Governments have had to allocate extra funding for the treatment of their illnesses, he said.
The president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand, Dr. Pramuk Mutirangkura, also joined the opposition to legalizing the sale of e-cigarettes and vapers.
Responding to Mr. Chaiwut’s assertion that at least 67 countries had approved e-cigarettes as being less harmful than cigarettes. Dr. Pramuk said that all of those countries had allowed the sale of vaping products with conditions attached. They were not sold without restrictions, he said.
Many other countries still banned e-cigarettes and Vapers because they wanted to protect people’s health. Most countries’ health officials preferred products that end smoking over vaping products, Dr. Pramuk said.
Source: Bangkok Post
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