Children must be shielded from harmful e-cigarettes
Recently, some children in Sham Shui Po were found smoking electronic cigarettes. According to one of them, there are already hundreds of other children smoking e-cigarettes because they believe that they are harmless and have no nicotine and tar as claimed.
The reason this form of smoking is so popular among children is believed to be the different flavours on offer.
As a result, some children see them as a toy and have their first try of cigarettes.
However, according to the president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine and might also have other harmful chemicals.
The nicotine might not only get children addicted to smoking but can also harm their intellectual development. People who smoke e-cigarettes are likely turn to tobacco cigarettes later. The impact of smoking e-cigarettes can be even worse than the tobacco version.
To prevent students from taking up smoking in the first place, the government and parents should adopt a zero-tolerance approach and take firm action to keep all children away from these potentially deadly cigarettes.
The government must regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes certainly should not be sold to people below the age of 18.
The import of e-cigarettes also should be controlled so that children cannot buy them through the many online shops that are available.
Discussions and campaigns to educate the public, especially students, should be conducted to inform them about the harmful effects of e-smoking. It doesn’t matter how old a person is, all cigarettes should always be avoided.
Angela Chan, Tseung Kwan O