LETTER: E-cigarettes are just as bad as real ones

Nelson city council is to be congratulated for treating electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco cigarettes.

Nelson city council is to be congratulated for treating electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco cigarettes. People who use e-cigarettes are inhaling unknown, unregulated and potentially harmful substances into their lungs so until we know more about them, we should treat them as we do traditional cigarettes.

A study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that the high-power e-cigarettes known as tank systems produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, along with the nicotine-laced vapour that their users inhale. The toxin is formed when liquid nicotine and other e-cigarette ingredients are subjected to high temperatures, according to the study. Traditional cigarettes, by contrast, create thousands of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens. Sales of e-cigarettes have risen ten-fold to be a $3 billion worldwide industry and many of the e-cigarette manufacturing businesses are owned by large tobacco companies.

Limiting tobacco use from public view is one of the major reasons that BC has been able to achieve the lowest smoking rate in Canada — at just 14 per cent. E-cigarettes threaten to undermine all of that work as well as make the act of smoking seem acceptable again. The BC Lung Association offers smokers the free services of QuitNow.ca, including quit coaches to help them remain smoke-free. For more information, call 1-877-455-2233, text QUITNOW to 654321, or visit our information kiosk in the Nelson Community First Health Co-op, 518 Lake Street.

Michael Jessen

Nelson

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