Tobacco (73) Q5. What are the pros and cons of vaping? (3)

25 March, 2023

Dear HIFA colleagues,

We are discussing this topic on our sister forum, CHIFA (child health and rights), under the subject heading of 'Pros and cons of vaping from a child health perspective'

Joseph Ana (Nigeria) said: "'Pros and cons of vaping from a child health perspective', which I think is out of place and misleading because there cannot be any 'pros' for vaping or any other form of tobacco use in any form or shape. I thought it is agreed and established that there is no advantage from tobacco use or smoking for even adults, talk less of children. Or am I mistaken? People who start up nicotine use with vaping, end up getting hooked on nicotine and which then leads to using traditional tobacco products ("

I replied: "Indeed it is hard to find any 'pros' to vaping from a child health perspective. The main pro from a general health perspective is that vaping has helped many smokers to quit. From a child health perspective it is worrying that people who have never smoked, including children, take up vaping and become addicted to nicotine. The health harms of vaping are probably much less than smoking cigarettes, but we do not have full knowledge of the long-term impact. Meanwhile it has been noted thet some of those children who vape go on to become cigarette smokers. I would be interested to hear from other CHIFA members on the impact of vaping on child health. It has been argued on our sister forum HIFA that vaping has a role in smoking cessation, and that ideally it should be available only on prescription for this purpose. On the other hand there are those who argue that it doesn't make sense to restrict vaping when cigarettes are freely available. The reality is that both vaping and cigarettes continue to be freely available to anyone, everywhere, including children."

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: