If you believe that think e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to cigarettes, you are mistaken. The Sultanate of Oman banned the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes in 2015. However importing, use and possession are legal and are quite rampant among the smokers who want to try something ‘less harmful’. Many users of e-cigarettes believe that it is an acceptable way to use nicotine where smoking is not allowed and commonly believe that they are inhaling less dangerous stuff.
Dr Mizun Tufail Rahman, Senior Consultant - Family Physician at the Ministry of Health, says that it is a great misconception in the society that vaping is less harmful than cigarettes. “Consumption of any form of tobacco is detrimental to health. Concentrated tobacco is more dangerous and chances of tobacco-related diseases are much higher than the traditional smoking as it attracts a bundle of diseases and respiratory issues,” she said.
“In case of any fire, the gravest injury that occurs is lung damage due to smoke inhalation. We cannot perceive that inhaling any form of smoke whether with or without nicotine does not cause harm to the body,” says Dr Rohil Raghavan of Burjeel Hospital. Most e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, which is highly addictive and may cause negative health effects such as harming the developing brains of teens, kids and foetuses in women who vape while pregnant. “Although people take it up as an alternative to quit smoking, vaping is addictive as smoking itself, in some cases ironically people tend to do more thinking it's safer, especially the younger generation. Vaping too can cause lung injury, exacerbation in asthma or chronic lung disease or even death,” says Dr Dilip Singhvi of Apollo Hospital.
“Smoking causes cancer and vaping can cause serious lung illness which can be fatal. Smoking is known to deliver nicotine by burning tobacco whereas vaping delivers nicotine by burning liquid, which is less harmful but still can kill you,” says Dr Viresh Chopra of Oman Dental College.
Studies have shown that using e cigarettes have a 71 per cent higher risk of stroke; 59 per cent higher risk of heart attack or angina; and 40 per cent higher risk of heart and lung diseases. There are other chemicals like diacetyl (a chemical linked to a serious lung disease) as well as toxins, metals and contaminants found in electronic cigarettes that could increase inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels.
This leads to clot formation in arteries and causing strokes in smokers