Monday December 10, 2018

E-cigarettes which have become popular among Adults, are not to be used by Children: US Health Official

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of the devices to anyone under 18 earlier this year

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FILE - A smoker exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, California, in this July 7, 2015, photo. VOA
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December 9, 2016: E-cigarettes should not be used by kids, the top U.S. health official says.

The devices, which have become popular among adults looking for a healthier alternative to smoking, not only deliver nicotine but also can emit toxic substances like lead, diacetyl and nickel, according to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy who released a report on the devices.

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“All Americans need to know that e-cigarettes are dangerous to youth and young adults,” Murthy said. “Any tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, is a health threat, particularly to young people.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of the devices to anyone under 18 earlier this year.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said makers of e-cigs are directly targeting kids with exotic flavors and hip marketing. They have become the most popular nicotine delivery system among young people.

“The use of products containing nicotine poses dangers to youth, pregnant women and fetuses. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe,” according to the Surgeon General’s report.

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Elaborating on the report, Murthy said there is confusion surrounding the safety of e-cigs.

“E-cigarettes went from being rare in 2010 to being the most common tobacco product used among our youth,” he said. “It also threatens 50 years of hard-fought progress we made curbing tobacco use.”

The U.S. government released a report in 2015 saying that one in six high school students used an e-cig within the last month.

“The report finds that, while nicotine is a highly addictive drug at any age, youth and young adults are uniquely vulnerable to the long-term consequences of exposing the brain to nicotine, and concludes that youth use of nicotine in any form is unsafe,” the Health and Human Services Department said.

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Those views were echoed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Nicotine … is highly addictive and has clear neurotoxic effects,” Dr. Benard Dreyer, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said at a news conference. “E-cigarettes have the potential to addict the next generation and it’s a major public health concern to us.”

Murthy added that parents, teachers and healthcare providers need to make sure kids know e-cigarettes are not safe.

“Today’s report gives them the facts about how these products can be harmful to young people’s health,” he said. (VOA)

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Due To The E-Cigarette ‘Epidemic’ US Restricts Its Flavours

E-cigarettes have been a divisive topic in the public health community.

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Customers puff on e-cigarettes at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. VOA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration next week will issue a ban on the sale of fruit and candy flavored electronic cigarettes or e-cigarette in convenience stores and gas stations, an agency official said, in a move to counter a surge in teenage use of e-cigarettes.

The ban means only tobacco, mint and menthol flavors can be sold at these outlets, the agency official said, potentially dealing a major blow to Juul Labs Inc, the San Francisco-based market leader in vape devices.

The FDA also will introduce stricter age-verification requirements for online sales of e-cigarettes. The FDA’s planned restrictions, first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed to Reuters by the official, do not apply to vape shops or other specialty retail stores.

There has been mounting pressure for action after preliminary federal data showed teenage use had surged by more than 75 percent since last year, and the FDA has described it as an “epidemic.”

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

Crackdown

“E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous — and dangerous — trend among teens,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in September. “The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end. It’s simply not tolerable.”

That growth has coincided with the rise of Juul, whose sales of vaping devices grew from 2.2 million in 2016 to 16.2 million devices last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency threatened in September to ban Juul and four other leading e-cigarette products unless their makers took steps to prevent use by minors. The FDA gave Juul and four big tobacco companies 60 days to submit plans to curb underage use, a compliance period that is now ending.

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Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City. VOA

The planned restrictions on flavors in convenience stores are likely to have the biggest impact on Juul, which sells nicotine liquid pods in flavors such as mango, mint, fruit and creme, previously called creme brulee.

Juul competitors

The only other e-cigarette competitors sold at convenience stores are those marketed primarily by tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc, British American Tobacco Plc, Imperial Brands Plc and Japan Tobacco Inc.

Those products, sold under the MarkTen, blu, Vuse and Logic brands, have lost market share as Juul has risen to prominence over the last year, growing from 13.6 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market in early 2017 to nearly 75 percent now, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen retail data.

E-cigarette products represent a small share of revenue for major tobacco companies, whereas Juul’s business is built entirely on the vaping devices. Revenue from e-cigarette devices made up less than 1 percent of British American Tobacco’s global revenue for the first six months of 2018, according to a company filing from July.

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E-cigarette additives impair lung function: Study. ( Image Source: https://ecigarettereviewed.com/)

Altria last month announced it would stop selling its pod-based electronic cigarettes, generally smaller devices that use pre-filled nicotine liquid cartridges, in response to the FDA’s concerns about teen usage. The company also said it would restrict flavors for its other e-cigarette products to tobacco, menthol and mint.

Representatives from Altria, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco did not respond to requests for comment Thursday evening. A Juul spokeswoman declined to comment.

The companies have previously said their products are intended for adult use and that they work to ensure retailers comply with the law.

Divisive products

Juul has previously said the company wants to be “part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people” but that “appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch.”

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Ban on e-cigarettes, Pixabay

Meredith Berkman, a founder of Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes, which seeks to curb underage use, said the agency’s move was a “good first step,” but added that “the final step should have happened yesterday.”

“Why not do away with flavors altogether, why not do away with online sales altogether?” she said.

Also Read: Smoking Habits May Harm Breastfeeding, Newborns At Risk

E-cigarettes have been a divisive topic in the public health community. Some focus on the potential for the products to shift lifelong smokers onto less harmful nicotine products, while others fear they risk drawing a new generation into nicotine addiction.

Last year the FDA, under Gottlieb, extended until 2022 a deadline for e-cigarette companies to comply with new federal rules on marketing and public health. (VOA)