If you’ve recently watched Broken, an investigative docu-series on the ways that negligence and deceit can play a role in the production and marketing of popular consumer products, one thing that may have stood out to you is how vaping is being promoted as a healthier alternative to smoking. While it is true that vaping does not contain tobacco, the e-liquids in these devices can be full of cancer-causing chemicals, such as nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance, formaldehyde (used to embalm bodies) and benzene (found in car exhaust). It is also known that the heat generated by electronic vaporisers can release nitrous oxide, a dangerous compound that can damage lungs.
The truth is that we really don’t know much about the health risks of vaping. As such, it is hard for governing bodies to impose stiff regulations on something they aren’t even certain of the impact of. In the meantime, what we do know is that vaping has been linked to lung injuries, illnesses and death in some teens who were otherwise healthy.
Those caught importing vapes or selling them in Singapore are often fined or jailed. HSA has seized e-liquids and refill pods worth more than $2 million since 2021, and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has found them hidden in everything from LED lightbulbs to containers of rice. To make things more complicated, it is also illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors in Singapore. Rather than vaping to cope with stress, youths should try other healthy mechanisms to relax. These include breathing exercises, meditation and making time for hobbies. Sgvape