By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
530 confirmed or probable cases of serious lung injuries in the United States are linked to vaping, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eight deaths have also been tied to the illnesses. Many of the cases — which span 38 states and one territory in the United States — have been in young men.
While health officials in the United States are grappling with a potential health crises affecting mostly young people, Africa could be worse if governments don’t move fast by acting on information from public health experts in developed countries to control and prevent the people from the growing vaping trend.
Developed countries have the infrastructure to map out the demographics and the number of people affected as well as probable victims, but in no way will Sub-Saharan Africa address the potential of a vaping crises if policies are not passed now to put a stop to the practice.
Few countries in Sub-Sahara Africa are looking at options to control vaping or totally ban the practice, yet for most countries it is left with the people to indulge into vaping or not. Thus a free-for-all place for manufacturers of E-cigarettes to flood the markets with their products.
The Vapers’ guide to vaping across Africa shows the level of lapses regarding vaping in the continent with few permitting vaping in designated smoking areas.
The picture shows how Sub- ahara Africa is vulnerable, especially young people whose lifestyles are influenced by developing trends in the West, but the latest discovery of the negative effect of vaping and subsequent warnings by health experts could make governments in the continent think of ways to stop a potential health crises.
There could already been cases, but unreported, because majority of the people seldom get access to standard healthcare. and without a WHO funded project aimed at public health issues, most African countries don’t have properly regulated and sustained public health monitoring systems to prevent and control public health threats.