UAE Ministry Warns Against False Safety Claims in E-Cigarette Promotion

asmaa - | Arab News

In the United Arab Emirates, the use of e-cigarettes is strictly regulated, with prohibitions against vaping in offices and enclosed spaces.

Vaping Regulations in the UAE

However, despite these restrictions, some individuals are observed vaping indoors, often under the assumption that the laws do not apply to electronic smoking products. This misconception persists despite clear guidelines issued by authorities regarding the use of e-cigarettes in public areas.

Health Authority Warnings

Health authorities in the UAE, notably the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap), have issued stern warnings against the promotion of electronic smoking products as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Contrary to marketing claims, there is no substantial scientific evidence to support the notion that e-cigarettes are inherently safer.

Mohap, in a statement released in conjunction with World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st, emphasized the need for smokers to quit, citing the grave health risks associated with tobacco use, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and mental health issues.

The World Health Organization (WHO) echoes these concerns, cautioning against the misleading portrayal of nicotine products as "safer" alternatives to cigarettes. While the tobacco industry often positions e-cigarettes as harm-reduction tools, the WHO emphasizes that they remain highly addictive and detrimental to health.

The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are not fully understood, but studies have shown that they produce toxic substances, some of which are carcinogenic, and increase the risk of heart and lung disorders. Additionally, the use of e-cigarettes can disrupt brain development, particularly among young users, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

Despite efforts to promote harm reduction through the marketing of e-cigarettes, there is insufficient evidence to support their efficacy in helping smokers quit. Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that these alternative tobacco products come with their own set of risks.

Many users of e-cigarettes and similar products end up becoming dual users, simultaneously using traditional cigarettes, which compounds the health hazards associated with tobacco consumption.

Expert opinions further underscore the risks associated with vaping. Dr. Humberto Choi, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, asserts that there is no safe form of tobacco use. He emphasizes that all forms of nicotine consumption, including vaping, chewing tobacco, and smoking traditional cigarettes or shisha, pose significant health risks.

Vaping, in particular, has been linked to acute lung inflammation, addiction, and dental problems, among other health concerns. Dr. Choi emphasizes the need for caution, as the full implications of vaping on health are not yet fully understood.

In light of these warnings and insights, it is imperative for both individuals and authorities in the UAE to take proactive measures to address the misconceptions surrounding e-cigarettes. Public education campaigns, stricter enforcement of regulations, and ongoing research into the health effects of vaping are essential to safeguarding public health.

By promoting accurate information and discouraging the use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products, the UAE can mitigate the risks associated with tobacco consumption and protect the well-being of its citizens.

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