An independent Senator Wednesday warned that there was no such thing as harmless smoking, as he branded e-cigarettes as “instruments of death and disease”.
Making his contribution to debate on the Health Services Amendment Bill in the Upper House, retired medical doctor Sir Henry Fraser further cautioned smokers that while they may initially avoid the problematic effects of side-stream smoke, medical research had shown that the use of e-cigarettes eventually leads to other forms of smoking, compounding the negative health effects.
“So the multiple problems of e-cigarettes though not as great as your old time Camels and all the other types of conventional cigarettes, is still a significant problem which must be recognized, and we need to ensure that enough is done locally in terms of controlling the persistence of the local tobacco industry’s efforts in marketing and selling these instruments of death and disease among the Barbadian people,”
Sir Henry also floated the idea of taxation to control the sale of noxious substances to the public, but did not go into details on the proposal.
Also contributing to the day’s debate, another independent Senator, Sir Trevor Carmichael, suggested that much of the country’s medical costs had resulted from bad personal health choices.
Sir Trevor therefore called for the issue to be tackled head on, saying it affected the economy in many ways.
“What is evident is that smoking alleviation will help [since] we will be talking about longer lives and longer useful lives, and health control cost reductions,” Sir Trevor explained.
While pointing out that the island had benefited substantially from its membership in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), he also suggested the need to for more health care development financing.
“The way forward in terms of health financing is really, in my view, looking for the financing of the health sector in terms of the basic enforcement mechanisms, and earlier today we heard of the importance of a health promotion unit within Government.
“These are laudable objectives, but they can only succeed with development funding,” he added.
The Health Services Amendment Bill was passed Wednesday in the Senate.