The use of electronic cigarettes has become a hot topic between the public and the Department of health. Whether you’re taking cigarette smoke into your lungs or vapor, there are going to be some serious health implications that come with it.

Its use has been brought into question following government’s attempt to regulate e-cigarettes. The Department of Health met with the National Council Against Smoking to discuss effects of these new age devices.

These electronic devices are also known as vapes, e-cigs and vape pens.  They provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke. They’ve become largely popular amongst a number of South Africans, especially the youth.

Many believe that they are safer alternative.

Pulmonologist DR Erica Jeanie says, “The most common misconception is that people think they are safe. There is this whole concept that it isn’t a combustible product and that it is not being burnt and there’s no tobacco in the product so therefore it is safe. Whereas we know that there are two big problems. There’s nicotine in e-cigarettes and there is all the flavouring that we are not aware of their actual effect on the lungs at this stage”

Health and social academics have raised their concerns over their accessibility to children.

The youth have mixed reactions about the decision to regulate, “I think it’s a good idea especially because I am a father and I think as parents we worry about how easily accessible our kids can access these cigarettes”

“I feel it’s the same as other countries like the USA and Canada where they taking away essentially something that is helping people get off cigarettes,” says one of the young people.

While there’s an on-going debate on whether vaping is safe or not, the department of health is pushing ahead with the process of amending the Tobacco Control Bill.

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