Tuesday April 23, 2019

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

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)

Next Story

Many Teenagers are Unaware of the Nicotine Content Present in e-Cigarettes: Study

The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use of e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes and marijuana

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FILE - A customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

A new study shows that many teenagers who use e-cigarettes do not understand the amount of addictive nicotine they are inhaling.

The study, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that 40 percent of adolescents who believed they were only using nicotine-free products were actually vaping significant amounts of the substance. The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use of e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes and marijuana.

Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York state compared adolescents’ responses about their use of such substances against urine samples taken from the teenagers. They found that almost all of the respondents were honest about their substance use, however, they discovered the biggest discrepancy in the study came from teens who thought they were using nicotine-free e-cigarettes.

e-cigarette, nicotine
Customers puff at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. VOA

“Many of our participants were unaware of the nicotine content of the e-cigarette products they were using,” the researchers concluded.

Pros and cons

The study comes at a time when the popularity of e-cigarettes is on the rise and their use has become a divisive topic in the public health community.

Advocates for e-cigarettes say the products have the potential to shift lifelong smokers of traditional cigarettes onto less-harmful nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, while critics say that vaping risks bringing a new generation into nicotine addiction. Critics also point out that the health effects from the chemicals in e-cigarettes are not fully known.

e-cigarette, nicotine
The research involved 517 adolescents, aged 12 to 21, who were questioned about their use, traditional cigarettes and marijuana. Pixabay

It contains nicotine, which is addictive, but they do not contain tar or many of the other substances in traditional cigarettes, which make them deadly. Battery-powered e-cigarettes turn liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor.

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Use among teens

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to restrict sales of most flavored e-cigarettes at drug stores and gasoline stations in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of young people.

U.S. federal law bans the sale to anyone under 18 years of age. But a study published last year found that 1 in 5 high school students report using the devices — an activity known as vaping. (VOA)