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Vaping Not a Safe Alternative to Quit Smoking, UAE Doctors Warn

IN UAE, an increasing number of cigarette smokers are turning to vaping in hopes of quitting traditional smoking habits. Medical experts caution that vaping is not a safe alternative and does not effectively aid in smoking cessation

In the UAE, amidst strict anti-smoking laws, an increasing number of cigarette smokers are turning to vaping in hopes of quitting traditional smoking habits. However, medical experts caution that vaping is not a safe alternative and does not effectively aid in smoking cessation.

Anastasia Armali, a Russian national residing in the UAE, turned to e-cigarettes two years ago to curb her smoking habit. “Whenever I used to smoke cigarettes, I felt chest pain and shortness of breath. Switching to e-cigarettes seemed like a cleaner option,” she shared.

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Similar motivations led Ryan Naik and Adnan Wahidi, both long-time residents of Dubai, to make the switch to vaping, aiming to eventually kick their smoking habits altogether.

Contrary to popular belief, doctors in the UAE assert that vaping poses significant health risks comparable to smoking.

Dr. Raiza Hameed, a specialist in pulmonology at Aster Clinic, emphasized, “E-cigarettes emit an aerosol containing nicotine, flavorings, and various chemicals. These chemicals, including harmful aldehydes, can cause severe lung damage and potentially lead to cancer over time.”

Dr. Hameed further debunked the notion that vaping aids in smoking cessation, based on her clinical experience. “Many individuals who turn to vaping to quit smoking end up vaping long-term or returning to smoking,” she explained. Studies indicate that vaping may even increase the likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke.

Echoing these concerns, Dr. Jamsheer Ambalath Kabeer from Thumbay University Hospital highlighted additional risks associated with vaping.

“Vaping-associated pulmonary illness (VAPI) has been reported, particularly linked to substances like vitamin E acetate. Long-term inhalation of vape aerosols and nicotine addiction pose serious health threats,” he warned.

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Despite these health risks, Lauren Huang, general manager for the Middle East at Elfbar & Lost Mary, defended vaping as a smoking cessation tool for adults. “While acknowledging the addictive nature of nicotine in vaping products, we emphasize responsible usage and consultation with healthcare professionals,” Huang stated.

In the UAE, where stringent laws prohibit smoking in the presence of children and impose severe penalties for selling tobacco to minors, the debate over vaping’s role in public health remains contentious.

Dr. Hameed urged smokers to seek support from friends, family, and specialists for effective smoking cessation strategies. “Each step towards resisting tobacco cravings brings individuals closer to a smoke-free life,” she advised.

As the UAE continues to enforce rigorous measures against tobacco use, including education campaigns and legal restrictions, the debate over vaping’s safety and efficacy as a cessation aid persists.

Medical experts stress the importance of informed decision-making and comprehensive support systems for those seeking to quit smoking, underscoring that vaping is not a risk-free alternative.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

Tariq Saeed

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