Volunteers learn about risks of e-cigarettes in Canning Town

Natasha Anastasi from Newham Stop Smoking Team shows youngsters some e-cigarettes at the anti-smokin

Natasha Anastasi from Newham Stop Smoking Team shows youngsters some e-cigarettes at the anti-smoking training session held at Community Links, Canning Town. - Credit: Archant

A charity ran a training sesion to highlight the health risks of smoking e-cigarettes and e-shisha for young people.

The event, held in Barking Road, Canning Town, was part of the Community Links Cancer Awareness Campaign which asked the Newham Stop Smoking Service to run a training session for Links’ volunteers and staff on e-cigarettes and e-shisha.

Frances Clarke, from Community Links, said: “We asked for this training as we have become very concerned about the health risks associated with these new e-cigarettes and shisha pens. We are very worried that they are a gateway into smoking for young people. Teachers have told me of cases in both primary and secondary schools of children smoking these shisha pens in the playground.

“Our concern is that these e-cigarettes and shisha pens are very attractive to children, they are produced in pretty colours and contain different types of fruit flavouring. They look fun and appealing and they are readily available for children to buy in local shops. Nicotine is very addictive and if children are exposed to it I believe that their chances of becoming smokers in the long-term are increased and I doubt if parents are aware of the possible health risks involved”

Natasha Anastasi, from the Newham Stop Smoking Service, said: “Although nicotine is not as harmful as tar or carbon monoxide which is both found in cigarette and shisha smoke, it is a highly addictive drug that can lead to long term use. A question we must address is: will the use of e-cigarettes/ e-shisha have the potential to lead to smoking in young people?”

Community Links is planning to raise awareness, among children and parents, of the potential health risks during their cancer awareness campaign in local schools and sixth form colleges in the autumn.