Bahrain may ban e-cigarettes
Manama, November 23, 2010
Bahrain could eventually outlaw the sale of e-cigarettes, according to a senior health official.
They are just as harmful as normal cigarettes, but a ban would only be introduced if a consensus was reached at GCC level, said primary care and public health assistant under-secretary Dr Mariam Al Jalahma.
'The only difference is that e-cigarettes do not produce smoke,' she told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) in reaction to reports that e-cigarettes had been banned in the UAE.
'Since we see this as a regular cigarette, there is no reason to ban it,' she said. 'By the same yardstick, we should ban all cigarettes.'
Dr Al Jalahma said officials would like all kinds of cigarettes to be banned, but that had not happened so far.
'However, the message we want to give to the people is that smoking is harmful to health, whether it is in the electronic form or otherwise,' she said.
The official said if a collective decision was taken by GCC health ministers to ban e-cigarettes it would be immediately outlawed in Bahrain.
'Available evidence suggests the nicotine in the e-cigarette is as harmful as the normal cigarette and it causes the same harm,' said Dr Al Jalahma.
'It is a myth that this cigarette helps people quit smoking. That is not true.
'Like normal smoking, this can also lead to cardio-vascular conditions and lead to abortion among women.
'It is a dangerous gadget and its use should not be encouraged.'
Dr Al Jalahma said the Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society in co-operation with the Health Ministry were constantly highlighting ways to help people quit smoking and those would continue.
'We recommend the device not be used at all and advise that people who wish to quit smoking use a nicotine patch instead,' she said.
She said the device was commonly used by people who go to private clinics for quit smoking programmes.
The e-cigarette takes the form of a tiny rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette.
The mouthpiece contains a replaceable cartridge filled with liquid and the main substances contained in the liquid are nicotine and propylene glycol.
When the user inhales through the device, the air flow is detected by a sensor.
A microprocessor then injects tiny droplets of the liquid into the flowing air and vaporises the nicotine.
This produces a vapour mist which is inhaled by the user.
The addition of propylene glycol to the liquid makes the mist resemble normal cigarette smoke and the microprocessor also activates an orange light-emitting diode at the tip to simulate real smoking.-TradeArabia News Service