Ample evidence that e-cigarettes are unsafe and pose a health risk: smoking report
Published: May 31, 2021 01:43 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Experts' warning over e-cigarettes and their related health risks for those people looking for their first "puff" escalated as the 34th World No Tobacco Day fell on Monday.

China's National Health Commission devoted an entire chapter to e-cigarettes in its latest report on smoking for the first time and stressed in the opening that "there is ample evidence that e-cigarettes are unsafe and pose a health risk."

According to the China Report on the Health Hazards of Smoking 2020, over 1 million people die of tobacco-related diseases in China every year. E-cigarette liquid contains harmful substances and t-cigarette flavoring agents can produce harmful substances when heated.

As a special tobacco product, e-cigarettes have attracted many new and old smokers with their cool and fashionable appearance and pleasant flavors in recent years while controversy about the extent of harm to a person's health and questions about whether they actually help people quit smoking have been escalating.

Given the dangers of e-cigarettes, many cities across the nation have solicited public opinion on the legislation of the ban of e-cigarettes in public venues.

Some cities including Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province and Qinhuangdao in North China's Hebei Province have already banned e-cigarettes in smoke-free places.

According to Chen De, director of Tobacco Control and Behavioral Intervention Department of Shanghai Health Promotion Center and vice president of Shanghai Smoking Control Association, there is still some uncertainty about whether e-cigarettes should be considered tobacco products, which attributes to the difficulty in the legislation on the prohibition of e-cigarettes in public smoke-free venues.

Mao Qun'an, director of the National Health Commission's department of planning and information, warned of the risks of e-cigarettes becoming the first "puff" for many people, Xinhua reported.

"Adolescents tend to more easily take their first puffs using e-cigarettes which may further induce them to use traditional tobacco, whereas juveniles are the most essential group to bring down the number of smokers in the long run," Chen told the Global Times. 

Over 1 million people die of tobacco-related diseases in China every year, and this number will rise to 2 million per year by 2030 and 3 million by 2050, the report jointly released on May 26 by China's National Health Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) China Office shows. 

Next, the promotion of tobacco control work by the national health commission will focus on key places and groups, the high rate of smoking among adults, and the definition and supervision of e-cigarettes, Xinhua reported.