Wednesday February 20, 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

New Device Equally Harmful as E-cigarettes

"If the current trend continues, tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030 around the world," noted Sharma

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E-cigarettes, Smokers
Talia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

While we know about the harmful effects of traditional cigarettes and vaping, new heated tobacco devices are no less toxic to the human lung cells than ordinary cigarette smoke, said researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

The study has compared new heated tobacco devices, which heat solid tobacco instead of an e-liquid, with vaping and traditional cigarettes showing that all the three are toxic to the cells.

In addition, these newer electronic nicotine delivery devices can destroy lung tissue leading to fatal diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and pneumonia, and can increase the risk of developing asthma.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and with the introduction of e-cigarettes in the last decade, the trend of nicotine uptake is not going to slow down in the near future,” said Pawan Sharma, a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney.

“The latest addition in this emerging trend is the planned and vigorous introduction of heated tobacco devices. They are commonly called next generation or heat-not-burn products. We know very little about the health effects of these new devices, so we designed this research to compare them with cigarette smoking and vaping,” added Sharma.

For the study, researchers tested the effects of all three nicotine sources on two types of cells taken from the human airways: epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells.

E-cigarettes, Smokers
A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

In healthy lungs, epithelial cells act as the first line of defence to any foreign particles entering the airway while smooth muscle cells maintain the structure of the airway. However, smoking can lead to difficulty in breathing primarily by hampering the normal functions of these cells.

The team exposed the cells to different concentrations of cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapour and vapour from a heated tobacco device, and measured whether this was damaging to cells and whether it affected the cells’ normal functions.

The findings, published in ERJ Open Research, showed that cigarette smoke and heated tobacco vapour were highly toxic to the cells both at lower and higher concentrations while e-cigarette vapour demonstrated toxicity mainly at higher concentrations.

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Importantly, the review of the European Respiratory Society’s Tobacco Control Committee’s own data on these devices has shown that, in rats, there is evidence of lung inflammation, and there is no evidence of improvement in lung inflammation and function in smokers who switch to heated tobacco, said Professor Charlotta Pisinger from the varsity.

“If the current trend continues, tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030 around the world,” noted Sharma. (IANS)