July 4, 2017 | Filed under: Health | Posted by: Tempo Online
By: Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce, Chito A. Chavez
A laryngeal cancer survivor who heads an anti-tobacco use group has warned the youth on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes or vaping products which are being promoted as a safe replacement for regular cigarettes.
Emer Rojas, president of New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), urged the youth to stop using e-cigarettes because they are also harmful to their health.
Rojas, who started smoking as a young student at 17, had to have his vocal cords removed in 2002 as he contracted stage 4 laryngeal cancer due to tobacco use.
“Back then I was mainly driven by peer pressure as most of my friends were smoking. In my day, smoking was being promoted as a hype among young people because it provides you a false sense of belonging of sort,” said Rojas.
“Do not commit the same mistakes that I did. I lost my voice to an addiction that I thought was a harmless thing to do back in the day.
When my smoking resulted to cancer I thought that was the end of me. You don’t’ have to go through the same thing” he added.
Rojas said the tobacco industry is currently “glamorizing” e-cigarettes to make them appealing to the youth. Some of the harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes and their effects include: aluminum – chemical pneumonia and in children slowed growth and deformed bones; cadmium – can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; silver – prolonged exposure can cause permanent blue-gray staining of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and skin; lead – nerve damage, low IQ; and diacetyl – shortness of breath.