The Quang Ninh General Hospital last May received two high school students poisoned by e-cigarette smoking. The patients were V.B.N and N.T.Q, both 17, in Ha Long City. They were hospitalized with symptoms of irritability, rapid breathing, sweating, dizziness and nausea.

One hour before hospitalization, both of them had used e-cigarettes. After smoking, they felt dizzy and nauseous, and their limbs were flaccid. Doctors said the students were in good health and did not use e-cigarettes often. 

After the examination, doctors concluded that the patients were poisoned by e-cigarettes. They received first-aid treatment and were transferred to the intensive care unit for further treatment.

Also in Quang Ninh, in April 2023, Bai Chay Hospital received four students aged 15 who were in a state of dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and weakness in limbs after smoking a new generation of cigarettes. The students were diagnosed with nicotine poisoning.

One of the four students told the doctors that he had just ‘tried’ the e-cigarette and did not think he would have to be hospitalized.

Nguyen Tien Thang from Quang Ninh General Hospital, said e-cigarette poisoning often occurs with secondary and high school students because people at the age have the brain that is still developing and susceptible to the effects of stimulants.

Moreover, people at that age like to show their personalities and sample strange feelings. The common phenomena of e-cigarette poisoning include dizziness, short of breath, weak limbs, sweating, nausea, vomiting, arrhythmia, coma, or loss of consciousness.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), Vietnam is among the countries with high number of cigarette smokers. E-cigarettes and many new-generation cigarettes are not allowed to be imported, traded and circulated in the domestic market, but people can easily buy the products. The ads about the products can be seen everywhere.

According to Dam Ha district Police, electronic cigarettes and shiska are mostly advertised on websites, e-commerce sites, and retail stores, and are used mostly by youth aged 16-30.

MOH has reported that the number of e-cigarette smokers, both male and female, in 2020 increased by 18 times compared with 2015.

However, the ministry has informed that the Vietnamese youth have had better awareness of the harm of cigarettes and actively participated in the activities to prevent and control the harmful effects of tobacco.

The number of tobacco users aged 13-15 will decrease from 2.5 percent in 2014 to 1.9 percent in 2022, according to Luong Ngoc Khue from MOH.

Linh Trang