Puffing on e-cigarettes can cause more harm than traditional smoking. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dubai Police have warned against misusing e-cigarettes after recording incidents of people mixing drugs for vaping.

According to a recent study by the Forensic Science and Criminology Department of Dubai Police, experts have found 17 incidents of using e-cigarettes to consume drugs by mixing hashish oil, the Spice drug and other banned substances.

Lieutenant-Colonel Khalid Al Sumaiti, a chemistry expert, said they examined many e-cigarette samples recently and 17 samples were found to contain different kinds of drugs.

“We recorded 17 incidents of misusing e-cigarettes since 2016, including 14 incidents of using hashish oil. With more people using e-cigarettes, we found out some of them are using drugs in vaping,” Lt-Col Al Sumaiti said.

He said that hashish oil is a very strong drug and such incidents raise the alarm regarding the misuse of e-cigarettes.

“Using e-cigarettes has become normal and accepted by society as we see people using it in malls, public areas and houses, claiming it is better than normal cigarettes, but that is a big mistake. It has become a tool to consume drugs and it is more dangerous than normal cigarettes,” he added.

Lt-Col Al Sumaiti said that despite there being a ban on e-cigarettes in the UAE, people are still buying it easily from some shops and through social media networks.

“It is a huge danger if we don’t stand against it, which we have done in the past with the other drugs.”

He said some countries have allowed mixing vaping with alcohol and that could have led to a trend of mixing e-cigarettes with drugs.

Lt-Col Al Sumaiti called for strict measures to enforce the ban on selling e-cigarettes online and ban its use as well.

“It is a new way of designing drugs and we should have stricter measures against the sale of e-cigarettes,” he said.

What is an e-cigarette?

It is a hand-held electronic nicotine delivery system, and a battery-operated device that people use to simulate the feeling of tobacco smoking. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapour”, that the user inhales. Using e-cigarettes is sometimes called vaping. The liquid in the e-cigarette is usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine and flavouring.