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'Risky' e-ciggy

Torika Tokalau
Monday, April 28, 2014

E-CIGARETTES are now firmly in the firing sights of the Health Ministry with minister Dr Neil Sharma saying the cigarette alternative is now a "problem' for people in Fiji.

The phenomenon of e-cigarettes has taken the world by storm and Fiji is no exception, however, they also harbour dangerous side effects.

E-cigarettes contain canisters that are filled with liquid nicotine and flavours designed to mimic the taste of cigarettes, but can also have dire consequences if ingested in excess.

"Well electronic cigarettes are basically a way to bypass producing smoke, and it's loaded with canisters and in those canisters you can have a whole series of things," Dr Neil Sharma said.

"It could be plain flavour and on the other hand it could be nicotine and if the nicotine is not controlled or coming from a right source, people can even die from anaphylactic reaction or a hyper sensitivity reaction.

"So it is risky business."

Dr Sharma made the comments after Suva was declared a smoke-free city, the first in the region.

He said Fiji would host the first regional tobacco convention on tobacco control this week and the problem of e-cigarettes would be discussed.

"All 16 countries of the South Pacific will be meeting and it will be attended by tobacco control officers and senior officials," said Dr Sharma.