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‘Energy stick’ inhalers gaining popularity among youths, potential health risks unclear

meaninglesslife

Stupidman
Loyal
www.channelnewsasia.com
Singapore

‘Energy stick’ inhalers gaining popularity among youths, potential health risks unclear​

These inhalers, which pack a bunch of flavours and claim to give a boost on a sluggish day, are selling for as low as S$1.50 (US$1.10) each online.
‘Energy stick’ inhalers gaining popularity among youths, potential health risks unclear
“Energy stick” inhalers, which are small, pack a bunch of flavours, and claim to give a boost on a sluggish day, are quickly gaining popularity among youths.

Alif Amsyar & Calvin Yang

SINGAPORE: “Energy stick” inhalers, which are small, pack a bunch of flavours, and claim to give a boost on a sluggish day, are quickly gaining popularity among youths.

Now, some doctors and counsellors in Singapore are calling for studies on the potential health risks of the inhalers, to identify the likely physical and mental effects they have on the young.

Speaking in parliament on Mar 4, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said young people are being targeted on social media by the marketing of such products.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) are keeping a close watch on the situation.

CONCERNS OVER POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS​

A quick check online found that hundreds of energy inhaler options are available, with some sold for as low as S$1.50 (US$1.10). These often come in bright, trendy and colourful packaging.

Many of the inhalers claim to contain essential oils, natural ingredients and safe plant-based extracts. They also boast of being able to give users an energy boost and counter sleepiness when driving, studying or working overtime.

However, such bold claims have led some experts to raise concerns over the potential health risks.

“We are not exactly sure what is inside these energy inhalers. So there could be a lot of substances that we are not familiar with,” Dr Daniel Soong, medical director of Unihealth Clinic, told CNA.
“And so we do not know the full extent of the short-term as well as the long-term health effects it has on people, especially teenagers who have been using it.”

Experts warned that prolonged use could even lead users to develop a dependence on the products.
While the energy inhalers are not illegal now, the authorities are monitoring the use of these devices to make sure they do not end up containing harmful substances such as nicotine or cannabis.

ENSURING DEVICES ARE NOT MISUSED​

“Anything that is not managed, any behaviour that is not moderated, could be an addiction over time,” said Mr Alvin Seng, counsellor at WE CARE Community Services, a community-based addiction recovery centre.

“There is a need to pay more attention (and) to understand what it's doing to the youths, how it's affecting them physically and mentally, and also be ready to then make decisions according to the evidence.”

Citing how some vape users in the past few years, for instance, have tried experimenting with various substances, Mr Seng said: “If we do start to see that people are starting to introduce it into the inhalers for whatever reason, then definitely it needs to be controlled.

“Illicit or illegal substances are working their way into new formats (and) new platforms, then that will definitely be something that requires a lot more serious attention.”


Health authorities closely monitoring use of 'energy stick' inhalers in Singapore


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Youths could be pressured by their friends to try energy inhalers, cautioned experts, adding that public education plays an important role in ensuring the devices are not misused.

“It is important for the adults and caregivers around them to be a little bit more mindful, (and) a bit more aware,” said Mr Seng.

Dr Soong said awareness talks could be done at home or in schools.

“The approach should be equivalent to how we approach the smoking and vaping problems. Education plays a good part in it,” he added.

“We should educate children as well as teenagers of possible long-term side effects of all these things, so that it makes them hesitate first before starting to use and explore these devices.”

This will also go some way in discouraging youths from picking up other bad habits such as vaping and smoking, he noted.
 

hbk75

Alfrescian
Loyal
Knn mRNA poison they advertise as safe and effective. Even Marlboro cigarettes safer than mRNA. Got ppl smoke halfway up lorry one meh?

Chee bye pap knn money face.
 
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