Expert: Tackle vaping as a region

A call is being made for a regional approach to stem the growing use of e-cigarettes and vaping among young people, rather than individual countries going at it alone.

The recommendations came yesterday from Barbara McGaw, a regional tobacco control advisor with the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control. She was participating in a webinar hosted by HCC titled Clearing The Air: Vaping And Youth In The Caribbean, which served as the launch of its report on Vaping And Youth In The Caribbean.

Although the report will not be available until Monday, McGaw said there was a need to protect the youth and to enact or update legislation to include ENDS – Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems – in addition to the conventional methods of tobacco or nicotine, which Antigua and St Lucia had started to do.

She said it was also important that public education programmes be instituted on their dangers.

“Apart from environmental challenges, there have been reports of e-cigarettes exploding because of the batteries. The fact is that sometimes they [people] may use a charger that’s not approved, a cheap charger. There’s one person whose toe was blown off because while they had it in their mouth, it exploded. We’ve seen videos of people having an e-cigarette in their pockets and it explodes . . . . Being that it’s an electronic item, there have been challenges there,” she said. (GBM)