The new report by the Institute for Safe Electronic Cigarette Manufacturing (ISEM) on the health risks of vapourisers is alarming for several reasons.
It shows the use of electronic cigarette technology has exploded in the past two years and there is a high risk of a rise in e-cigarette use among young people.
“It is clear that there is an increasing demand for e-cigarettes as a way to deliver nicotine,” said Prof. Robert Klimas, co-author of the report.
The new findings are based on data from the Tobacco Control Strategy (TCS) which was launched in 2014 and includes information on public health.
In addition to showing a dramatic rise in the number of people using e-cigs, it also found a dramatic increase in cases of tobacco-related respiratory infections, including COPD.
“We are now seeing cases of respiratory infections that have been documented in the media.
There are more than one hundred cases of COPD in Toronto alone,” said Dr. Michael Brown, co‐author of a report on electronic cigarette use that was published earlier this year.
In 2015, Toronto had nearly a million people using an electronic cigarette, which according to the city’s health department accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all electronic cigarette sales.
“If you look at the number and percentage of new electronic cigarette users, you see that the percentage of people that are smoking is higher than it was a decade ago,” said Brown.
The report is the result of a year-long research project that examined the health effects of electronic cigarettes in the Toronto area. “
So, the issue is how are we going to stop this and prevent it from becoming a bigger issue?”
The report is the result of a year-long research project that examined the health effects of electronic cigarettes in the Toronto area.
“When we looked at the data, we saw that the number one health concern for people who are using electronic cigarettes was tobacco use,” said Klimasa.
“There was a big increase in people reporting tobacco-specific health problems after the introduction of electronic-cigarette technology in 2015.”
This study also found that many young people in Toronto who used electronic cigarettes did not know they were using them.
“The main message that comes out of this is that electronic cigarettes should be used in a way that’s safe, that they’re not as much of a risk to people as they used to be,” said Rachael Ritchie, co‑author of that study.
Ritchie says people are now starting to understand that electronic cigarette products are safer than traditional cigarettes.
“For people who have used them for the first time, there’s no evidence to suggest that they are as harmful as traditional cigarettes,” she said.
“But, if you’re someone who’s never used an electronic cigarettes before, it’s important to know what they are, especially if you don’t want to be exposed to any toxins.”
Another concern is the increasing prevalence of tobacco smoke in the air.
The report found electronic cigarette smoke emitted by e-cig manufacturers can irritate and even damage lungs, which is why people should be careful when using e‐cigs.
“People are more likely to smoke tobacco because of the way tobacco is processed,” said David Schoenfeld, the study’s lead author.
“Electronic cigarettes are the first thing we have to introduce into our lives, but they’re just the first step.”
Schoenfield is now working with health officials in other provinces to see if they can increase awareness of the dangers of electronic smoking and to better regulate the industry.