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Hong Kong

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Doctors want total ban on e-cigarettes

Several medical groups came together on Thursday to call for a total ban on electronic cigarettes, warning their sale would lead to an “epidemic” of teen vaping.

The groups – including the medical and dental associations – called on the government to end sales of e-cigarettes instead of merely regulating them.

They cited data from a US study that suggested use of e-cigarettes among high-school students had soared in recent years.

Dr David Lam, vice-president of the Medical Association, said cigarettes are evil products that contain nothing that is good for human health.

The groups acknowledged the argument against a total ban, as there is no such restriction on traditional cigarettes.
They said cigarettes have been around for a long time and if they were a new product being introduced, Hong Kong wouldn’t allow their import.

Lam said it had taken decades to cut down cigarette addiction, but modern day teens are not attracted to traditional tobacco products like earlier generations were. “Why are you allowing them to be addicted to these kind of things?” he asked, referring to e-cigarettes.

The joint call for a ban was issued by the Federation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Dental Association, the Hong Kong Medical Association, and the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health.

At a separate event, the Hong Kong College of Cardiology said a survey it had carried out found that vaping is not useful in helping smokers to quit.

The college’s president, Dr Lau Yuk-kong, said their study also found that people are still unaware that those who smoke outside and then return indoors can still pose a threat to those near them through third-hand smoking – the residue that hangs onto their clothes.

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