Taiwanese actress’s vaping case ignites debate on vaping laws; what do research on vaping reveal?

Charlene An, a Taiwanese actress, was reportedly held by Thai police when a vape was found in her taxi following a night out with friends in the Thai capital. She claimed that she was released only after paying a substantial fine.

The actress took to social media to announce that she had been threatened with criminal prosecution by Thai police for possessing vaping equipment or e-cigarette. She said that she and her friends had to pay 27,000 baht (about S$1,080) before they could leave.

The post went viral, and following a global outcry, the Thai Police conducted an investigation into the incident and concluded that it was extortion. The involved officers have reportedly been transferred and could face charges. Moreover, reports indicate that the police have apologised to the tourists.

After the incident, people on the Internet questioned the rules about e-cigarettes. This led to a public debate about whether vaping devices should be illegal to own.

According to CDC report on smoking cessation, more research needs to be done to find out if e-cigarettes help people stop smoking and to learn more about how they affect health.

Though electronic cigarettes (also known as vaping) contain fewer dangerous chemicals than traditional cigarettes, may seem like a safe alternative to regular cigarettes, there is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes are harmless. We continue to learn more about e-cigarettes with each passing day, but the exact health effects of e-cigarettes are still a work in progress.

According to a report published by Philip Morris International, although smoke-free alternatives are not risk-free, it is recognised that tobacco combustion produces the majority of the dangerous compounds in cigarette smoke. This smoke contains a large number of toxic and potentially toxic substances. If you eliminate the burning, you can drastically reduce the concentrations of many of these compounds.

Read the full report here

Conclusion

Even though important strides have been made over the past several decades in reducing conventional cigarette smoking, the outcomes of studies examining the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid continue to be debatable.

While the scientific community investigates the health effects of tobacco alternatives, the judgement is still out on whether vaping should be regulated. Proponents claim that legalising e-cigarettes could be the most efficient method for eliminating illegal goods from the black market.

Authorities must reexamine vaping legislation in order to preserve the health of residents without limiting the ability of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers convert to less hazardous combustible cigarettes or quit smoking. The worldwide tobacco problem must be monitored and handled, and evidence for e-cigarette legislation must be gathered; therefore, an effective and systematic surveillance mechanism is essential.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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