DOCTORS have issued a vaping warning after a 16-year-old boy nearly died from serious respiratory failure in Nottingham, after he was vaping on e-cigarettes (“Doctors issue vaping warning after teenager almost dies”, The Herald, November 12).

We have reports that now more than five million school-aged children in America are vaping regularly and there are many reports of serious illnesses amongst these teens. President Trump, who has a teenage son, is using his influence to put serious restriction on vaping amongst teens. Juul, one of the biggest sellers of e-cigarettes in the United States, has been accused of purposely marketing e-cigarettes at the teen market.

Many American teens have added cannabis to the mixtures used in vaping and imported top-up multi-flavoured liquids from China and elsewhere, which are thought to be the cause of much of the health problems. China, one of the world’s heaviest-smoking nations, is also seriously concerned about the spread of e-cigarettes. There is evidence from India, Australia and many other countries that the spread of e-cigarettes is out of control and ther are concerns about its safety.

However, our health experts, the English and Scottish Medical Officers of health, and anti-smoking charities have wrongly, in my view, stated that e-cigarettes are 95 per cent safer than smoking tobacco. This endorsement supported the idea that e-cigarettes are a safe and successful route to quitting smoking. Even after seven to eight years of vaping by around five million people in Britain’ there is no real evidence that many smokers have quit by this route. The endorsement by these experts has given the multi-billion-dollar e-cigarette companies carte blanche to continue to profit from ill health, just as the tobacco companies did for nearly 300 years. The medical experts have colluded with the profiteers of ill-health, when they should have done everything they could to discourage people starting to use e-cigarettes.

Evidence shows that most of the ex-smokers who moved to e-cigarettes as a route to quitting tobacco opted for versions of vaping products that contain the highly-ddictive nicotine. They are starting with on low doses and quickly upping the doses to satisfy their craving for nicotine. Many are also reported to be smoking tobacco as well, albeit in smaller quantities. How that can be considered a safe way to quitting smoking is beyond me.

The tobacco multinationals paid for the research that led to the invention of vaping on e-cigarettes. Once those companies were up and running, and cleverly marketed their wares as much safer than tobacco smoking, the tobacco industry has slowly but surely been buying up all the small pioneering outfits, so they can again completely control this unhealthy market. E-cigarettes are seen as the golden cow that will keep millions of people across the world addicted to nicotine, whose addictive properties has sustained the profit from the tobacco trade for centuries.

It is time for our top national health advisers to revisit this matter and to stop pandering to the profiteering from our children and adults caught in the addictive web that has been spun.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow G12.