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Colombian Congressman Claims E-Cigarettes Cause AIDS

We’ve apparently reached a point where e-cigarette opponents will make the most preposterous claims in order to make their case against vaping. Case in point a Colombian congressman who recently said chemicals in e-cigarette liquids weaken the immune system and can cause AIDS.

oscar-ospinaDuring a debate on banning electronic cigarettes for minors, in Colombia’s House of Representatives, congressman Oscar Ospina, of the Green Alliance, said that certain substances in e-liquid may cause serious diseases such as AIDS and aggressive cancers.

“I want to remind you that the flavorings contained by these electronic nicotine delivery devices cause cancer and damage the renal system,” Ospina told his colleagues. ” I also want to remind you that nitrates are responsible for the breakdown of the immune system and can cause several health problems such as AIDS. They can lead to the development of aggressive cancers, among other diseases.”

Needless to say, his statement caused laughter in the House of Representatives, as there is absolutely no scientific evidence to back up his ludicrous claims.  Even Senator Oscar Mauricio Lizcano, who proposed the ban on electronic cigarettes for minors, called Ospina’s outburst a mistake. “Some international studies have found that electronic cigarette can be addictive because they contain nicotine, although in lower concentrations, but nothing to do with AIDS, ” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the House representative of the Democratic Pole, German Navas Talero, defended electronic cigarettes. “I think you remember me as a heavy smoker. In the First Committee I was known as ‘the smoker’. I quit smoking thanks to the electronic cigarette, gentlemen, and I also convinced my brother to quit smoking with the help of this device,” he told the House, while holding and electronic cigarette in hand.

“If you take this away from me, you are forcing me to go back to smoking,” Navas added. “Smoking gave me a heart attack, and since then I have been using an electronic cigarette instead. I haven’t touched tobacco cigarettes since.”

A decision on the ban on electronic cigarettes for minors was postponed, but congressman Ospina’s controversial statement made quite an impression. So much so that someone posted a recording of it on Sound Cloud, which is a good thing because without actual proof, this whole story would probably be considered a bad joke.

You can listen to it below, in Spanish.

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