Singapore

Worth watching: Talking Point’s special on teenage vaping

“Tim” (not his actual identify) picked up his first vape when he was 14 years outdated. He was hooked on cigarettes. So hooked, that in an try and make him give up, his dad gave him a vape.  

Nevertheless it led to a different dependancy. Tim couldn’t get sufficient of vaping. He was puffing at dwelling, in class, and even in school throughout lesson time.

“Typically I might really feel like I have to take a smoke break, however I can’t depart the classroom, so I’ll simply take a puff after which blow it into my bag, or like blow it into my shirt, as a result of the smoke type of like dissipates. It doesn’t odor,” he admits to Mediacorp present affairs present Speaking Level.

Tim shouldn’t be the one teen hooked on vaping.

In 2021, greater than 4,600 individuals in Singapore have been caught for purchasing, utilizing and or possession of vapes. That’s greater than triple the quantity, from the 12 months earlier than. A 3rd of those vapers caught have been below the age of 18.

What precisely is a vape? Basically, it’s an e-cigarette, stuffed with liquid that is available in a cocktail of flavours so attractive with names like Pumpkin Spice and Bandung – it’s little surprise youngsters are lured.

In Singapore, vapes are banned. You’ll be able to’t purchase, personal, or smoke a vape. However but teenagers are getting their palms on it.

In a two-part Speaking Level particular, host Munah Bagharib delves deep into the world of vaping. She investigates how our youths are having access to one thing so contraband and what occurs if one begins vaping at such a younger age.

She meets Tim and different teenagers who vape and finds out simply how accessible the contraband units are.

“Kelly”, who began vaping at 16 years of age informed her: “It’s simpler to get a vape than for me to exit and purchase cigarettes as a result of I’m nonetheless underage.

“Like (at) 7-11, you might have CCTV and stuff. A lot simpler to get like a vape.”

Karen Lim, a pupil well being advisor on the Well being Promotion Board whose work includes serving to youngsters to give up smoking, says about half her caseload now includes college students who vape.

Regardless of authorities hunting down and shutting down social media listings which promote vapes in Singapore, Speaking Level managed to search out many others, together with thriving Telegram chatrooms, that are even hawking vapes containing juice laced with THC.

THC is the primary psychoactive compound present in marijuana. So what precisely are our youngsters inhaling? Speaking Level labored with Singapore’s Well being Sciences Authority to get some confiscated vapes despatched to a lab for testing and the outcomes are surprising.

Among the many chemical substances discovered was formaldehyde, a cancer-causing agent used within the technique of embalming. They additionally found nicotine ranges surpassing a stick of cigarette. 

Dr Aneez DB Ahmed, senior advisor surgeon for thoracic surgical procedure at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital says he’s beginning to see circumstances of sweet sixteen vapers with infected lungs.

“The sooner you begin, undoubtedly the upper the chance of you getting most cancers and lung harm,” he provides.

“Should you flip your self right into a closet vaper, you’ll most likely be taking extra nicotine. It undoubtedly impacts the youthful individuals. It impacts the event of the mind in a youthful age group.” 

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