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Concern over schoolkid vapers in Jamshedpur

'Experts say e-cigarettes also have cancer-causing properties and do not offer a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products.

By Antara Bose in Jamshedpur
  • Published 10.02.19, 1:06 AM
  • Updated 10.02.19, 1:06 AM
  • a min read
  •  
E-cigarettes are handheld devices that simulate the experience of smoking. They run on nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals to create a vapour that is inhaled. (Shutterstock)

A number of schoolchildren in the steel city are increasingly getting addicted to vapes or e-cigarettes without knowing about their side effects.

Recently, a group of students of a Mango school were caught vaping on the premises following which their e-cigarettes were confiscated by a teacher. When the incident was narrated by the principal of the school to Rajnish Kumar, former district governor of Lions Club International that conducts awareness programmes in schools, he decided to raise the issue with SSP Anoop Birtharay.

“We conduct a lot of programmes in schools. During one such event, one of the principals shared this experience. Vaping may not be as serious as substance abuse, but it is quite addictive. E-cigarettes are available for as less as Rs 300- 350. Therefore, I have urged police to take action,” Kumar said.

E-cigarettes are handheld devices that simulate the experience of smoking. They run on nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals to create a vapour that is inhaled.

In August last year, the Centre had asked all the states to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, vapes, e-sheesha and e-hookah, as they pose health risks.

According to experts, ENDS have cancer-causing properties and do not offer a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products.

Birtharay has asked Bistupur and Sakchi police stations to find out the shops that sell these products. E-cigarettes are available online, too.

“It is a serious issue and we shall seek some help from school administrators as well,” Birtharay said.

Psychiatrists said they knew teenagers who had fallen prey to such substances that might look fancy, but had long-term effects.

“Yes, vapes are prevalent in the city, especially among teenagers. They are not drug, but are addictive and harmful nonetheless. Also, teens who are in habit of vaping are more vulnerable to substance abuse,” head of the psychiatry department at Tata Main Hospital Sanjay Agarwal said.

A principal of a reputed English medium school in Bistupur said the problem could turn into something serious. “We must conduct counselling of students in such cases.”

Another principal of a Kadma-based school said the teachers there had the right to search school bags.

“I think there is a need to spread awareness so that the problem doesn’t get out of hand,” the principal said.