Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | 19:50 WIB

E-cigarettes trigger E-health problems


Jakarta, IO – The number of smokers of electronic cigarettes, known as “e-cigarettes” or “vapes” in Indonesia has increased significantly. According to data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), in 2011 the prevalence of e-cigarette smoking was 0.3%, but this has increased 10 times to 3% in 2021. 

In a media briefing with the theme “Explaining the Results of Research and Clinical Studies on E-Cigarettes in Indonesia” which was held online on Tuesday (9/1/2024), Chairman of the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI), Prof. Dr. dr Agus Dwi Susanto, Sp.P(K), said there was a mistaken perception about them, so that e-cigarette user numbers continue to increase. The results of many studies confirm that using e-cigarettes cannot help anyone who wants to stop smoking. 

“A study by Bigwanto in 2019 found that of 767 high school students in Jakarta, 90 or 11.8%, smoked e-cigarettes. Determinants of e-cigarette use: current conventional smoking (2.06%), perception of e-cigarettes as less addictive (1.98%), do not cause cancer (2.38%), parental permission (3.8%), having enough money (3.24%). In fact, e-cigarettes also contain nicotine which can cause addiction, carcinogens which cause cancer, and toxic ingredients which cause irritation and inflammation. So, even if e-cigarettes don’t contain tar, they still pose a big health risk, both as a cause of heart disease, lung disease and cancer,” he said. 

Prof. Dr. dr. Agus Dwi Susanto, Sp.P(K).
Prof. Dr. dr. Agus Dwi Susanto, Sp.P(K). (Source: PERSAHABATAN HOSPITAL)

E-cigarettes generally contain nicotine, vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, and flavorings. E-cigarettes do not produce ash from combustion, but generate smoke from heated liquid or tobacco, with the smell of smoke coming from flavorings and soluble in liquid. Be careful – this fluid can trigger a leaky lung condition, where they fill with fluid or pneumothorax. 

“Once there was a male patient aged 23 who complained of shortness of breath for three days, accompanied by a cough but with no fever, no night sweats, no history of asthma or tuberculosis (TB). From the examination, it was discovered that the patient had been using e-cigarettes for a year. X-ray results showed that his lungs contained water. The patient was operated on by placing a tube in the chest, the fluid was removed so that the lungs could be expanded again. He was also asked to stop smoking. After that, he no longer experienced complaints and recurrences. Leaky lung occurs when air enters the space between the chest wall and the lungs, called the pleural space. This air pressure causes the lungs to deflate by themselves, meaning the patient is short of breath,” he explained. 

Exposed by ENDS User 

Apart from users, the impact of e-cigarettes is dangerous for people around you. Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, stated that if you are around someone who is using e-cigarettes, you are breathing an aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultrafine particles, volatile organic compounds, and other toxins. 

Exposure to the aerosol exhaled by Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) users increases the background level of toxicants, nicotine as well as fine and ultrafine particles in the air. Nevertheless, the level of toxicants, nicotine and particles emitted from one ENDS is lower than that of conventional cigarette emissions. Despite having a lower level of nicotine than in second-hand smoke, the exhaled ENDS aerosol results in similar uptake, as shown by similar serum cotinine levels. 

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The government has outlined regulations regarding electronic cigarettes through Law Number 17 of 2023 concerning Health. It is hoped that derivative regulations from this law can be issued soon, stipulating more detailed regulations regarding the control of e-cigarettes. It must include efforts to prevent people from being affected by e-cigarettes, providing smoking cessation facilities, warning of health hazards on e-cigarette packaging, imposing excise duty on e-cigarette products, as well as regulating advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes. 

Even though it is difficult, let’s quit smoking to protect ourselves and the people around us from its enormous dangers. (est)


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