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What should be done to stop the use of e-cigarettes and laughing gas?

The authorities are working to prevent the sale and use of e-cigarettes and also of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), which is a type of narcotic.  When inhaled, the gas slows down the body’s reaction time and produces a feeling of euphoria. Vientiane Times asked for opinions on how the use of these products should be controlled.

Mr Niko Luvan, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: As someone who has tried e-cigarettes, to begin with I felt fresh and cool inside. I enjoyed the different flavours and felt relaxed when I smoked but, as time went by, I could not stop and began smoking every minute because of the addictive substances. I notice that many teenagers are using e-cigarettes nowadays which is not good news. The authorities should do something about this, otherwise there will be many more smokers in the future.

Mr Yeemoua Faidarmoua, a student at the National University of Laos: In my opinion, this issue should be addressed at the root instead of at the end of the process. By this I mean that businesses should not sell e-cigarettes or any nicotine based drugs and none of these products should be imported. If we can control the import of nicotine based drugs, there will be fewer addicts. And laughing gas should also be prohibited. By attacking the root cause, we can solve the problem of drug addiction. We also need more rehabilitation centres where people can recover from addiction.
Ms Meenar Boubpha, a resident of Xieng Khuang province: I think it’s a good idea to ban e-cigarettes and nitrous oxide. By taking a stand against these products, it will prevent young people and others who are unaware of the risks they pose from doing something they don’t know much about. Parents should be educated about the dangers involved so they can warn their children about the consequences and health risks. If children are guided by their parents from a young age it would greatly decrease the use of e-cigarettes and laughing gas. There should also be laws that either limit their use or prohibit it. And the law should be enforced. Educating the public and enforcing laws, I believe, will greatly decrease the use of e-cigarettes and laughing gas.

Mr Thanouphet, a resident of Luang Prabang city: E-cigarettes make us feel relaxed and ease the stress caused by hard work, exhaustion and boredom, so it makes us feel better. But if we smoke too much it can damage our health because nicotine is addictive, although relatively harmless. These type of cigarettes are also quite expensive and if we smoke more than is advisable, we might not be able to avoid addiction. In the end, it’s up to the user to control their intake and if people use them appropriately, e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking altogether because they reduce the craving for nicotine.
Ms Aliya Insyseingmai, a student at the National University of Laos: The use of e-cigarettes is becoming more common because they do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke, and are less damaging to one’s health. But it’s best to remember not to use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products around young people. Not only are they likely to copy the behaviour of others, they’re also at risk of exposure to nicotine and other chemicals that can be harmful to their health. But e-cigarettes are an important step in protecting children from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. Parents and other adults can do their part to reduce young people’s exposure to all types of cigarettes.


By Viengkeo & Souvanny
(Latest Update March 23, 2021)

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