One in five young Brazilians smokes electronic cigarettes, according to a survey carried out by the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). The device is usually battery operated, powered to heat a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals.
E-cigarettes, also known as pods, are most popular among 18-24 year olds. For the coordinator of prevention and surveillance of the National Cancer Institute (Inca), Liz Almeida, young people start using the product for the same reasons that people started smoking cigarettes in the past. “If I come to a party and people are using it, I’ll use it to fit in too,” she explained.
There is a false impression that the device is less harmful to health, but the doctor explains that, in the case of electronic cigarettes, the greatest risk is not associated with nicotine, but in sniffing other substances present in the device, such as certain heavy metals.
“This can cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, in part similar to what happens with Covid-19, but caused by a chemical burn in the lung caused by heavy metals”, warned Almeida.
Even though the sale of the product has been banned in Brazil since 2009, it is easy to find electronic cigarettes being marketed. The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) is collecting technical and scientific evidence about the device and has extended the deadline to receive this information until June 10th.
Source: CNN Brasil