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Doctors slam plan to legalise e-cigarettes in Thailand

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The government’s plan to legalise electronic cigarettes has been slammed by a medical alliance, which points out that cigarettes of any sort are major contributors to non-communicable diseases (NCD).

The digital economy and society minister had proposed the legalisation of e-cigarettes to the Cabinet on September 28.

Dr Wannee Nithiyanan, president of the Thai NCD Alliance, said all smoking devices, be they cigarettes, rolling tobacco, e-cigarettes, pipes or hookahs, expose smokers to not just nicotine but also thousands of toxins and at least 70 carcinogens.

She said smokers are at risk of developing at least five key diseases, namely cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and mental health problems.

She added that chronic diseases require continuous treatment and can be expensive in the long run, affecting work performance, health and quality of the life. They are also a burden on the family and the country.

According to World Health Organisation statistics, 398,860 deaths or 74 per cent of total fatalities in Thailand in 2018 were from NCDs.

Published : October 19, 2021