Don’t be deceived, heated tobacco products harmful, dangerous to health, experts warn

Medical experts have warned Nigerians against considering heated tobacco products as better alternatives to tobacco smoking.

The experts say HTPs produce an emission containing nicotine and other unhealthy chemicals, which are inhaled by users.

According to the experts, the use of any tobacco product, including HTPs, is harmful, noting that they are particularly harmful to pregnant women, young adults, and those who do not even use tobacco products.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, a Professor of Public Health, Tanimola Akande, said taking heated tobacco products has serious negative health effects.

“The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, inclAuding nicotine. Ultrafine particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs. It also has flavourings, such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.

He added that HTPs can also be another form of addiction, adding that those taking them as alternatives to smoking tobacco may also unwittingly become addicted to them.

He further advised Nigerians seeking to quit smoking to get help from experts who will guide them through the process, especially as it relates to lifestyle changes

“There are lifestyle changes that can help people to quit smoking, though they are not too easy. There are experts, too, that can help those who desire to quit smoking,” Akande said.

Also, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Ilorin, Emmanuel Okoro, noted that smokeless tobacco contains very harmful compounds.

“Don’t be deceived, smokeless tobacco contains very harmful compounds and has been linked to serious health issues, like cancers and birth defects.

“In any case, it is also addictive. That’s why its use is highly regulated in countries where citizens’ health is a priority and consumer protection effective,” Okoro said.

According to the World Health Organisation HTPs are a re-emerging class of tobacco products marketed as so-called potentially reduced-exposure products, or even as modified-risk tobacco products.

The world health body noted that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that HTPs are less harmful than conventional cigarettes.

PUNCH

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