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Health Risks of Vaping Highlighted by UAE Doctor Amid Rising Popularity of E-Cigarettes

The e-cigarette market in the UAE is poised for significant growth, with an expected annual increase of 7.28% over the next five years, according to a recent study on consumer markets by an online portal. By the end of this year, the market’s revenue is projected to reach $68.5 million, as reported by Statista based in Hamburg.

E-cigarettes, popularly known as vaping, are often seen as an alternative to traditional smoking or as aids for smoking cessation. However, concerns are rising about the deceptive allure of colorful packaging and fruity flavors that may obscure the true health risks associated with these nicotine delivery devices. Dr. Mohammed Harriss, a consultant pulmonologist at Medcare Sharjah and Medcare Royal Specialty Hospital Al Qusais, highlighted these concerns in an interview with Khaleej Times.

“Non-smokers exposed to second-hand vape aerosol absorb levels of nicotine comparable to those exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke,” Dr. Harriss explained. He emphasized that vape aerosol contains carcinogens such as lead and formaldehyde, which could significantly increase the risk of developing cancer.

Additionally, vape liquids contain numerous undisclosed chemicals and substances, which become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs of bystanders once heated by the device, as reported by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Dr. Harriss underscored the hazard posed by the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, warning of the potential normalization of smoking behaviors. He stressed, “Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death, and vaping should not be seen as a safe alternative.”

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) in the UAE recently issued a guide for tobacco-free workplaces, aiming to eliminate tobacco products from work premises and educate employees about the health and environmental impacts of smoking. UAE laws strictly prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and all forms of tobacco use in public areas, including governmental buildings, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, public transport, and other public spaces.

As concerns about vaping-related health risks continue to mount, both medical professionals and regulatory bodies in the UAE are advocating for stringent measures to mitigate the potential harms associated with e-cigarette use.

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