Electronic cigarettes are considered as a good way to quit smoking or a better and healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes. But their rampant use among the Americans especially the teens have raised concerns among the lawmakers and researchers as they are finding health woes related to it.
A new Congressional report has mentioned many of the same concerns about these modern cigarettes as done before with regular cigarettes.
The report has been prepared by the offices of Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA).
The report has highlighted the following points:
- The report bats for stricter government regulation on e-cigs
- The report also mentions about need for age restrictions and uniform warning labels.
- E-cigarette makers have been held responsible of using the same tricks as old-school tobacco companies to target the teens.
Calling for need for stricter regulation of modern cigs, Dr. Steven Kelder with UT Health Science Center in Houston said, “ Since e-cigs still contain addictive nicotine, they should be regulated for those who are underage. Nicotine is a drug, so providing easy access and advertising its use to youth is probably a problem.”
Dr. Joseph DiFranza of UMass Medical School said, “Most of the e-cigs are made in China and we are concerned there may some contaminants because quality control is poor, and they haven’t been tested for health effects.”
How far your E-cigarettes safe?
How far these e-cigarettes healthy is a matter that needs to be addressed. There’s a little research on how safe they are and their efficiency on kicking the smoking habit is also doubtable.
A survey says more people are giving e-cigarettes a try every day. About one in five adult cigarette smokers in the US had tried electronic cigarettes in 2011, nearly twice as many as in 2010. Sales reached nearly USD 500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to USD 1 billion this year. An estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of adults, in the United States smoke cigarettes.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 440,000 deaths annually.
About 6% of all US adults and 21% of adult smokers said they tried them in 2011, double the 2010 rate, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found six in 10 were aware of them in 2011, up from four in 10 a year earlier.
What is E-Cigarette?
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a smoke-free alternative to the traditional paper cigarette. It is comprised of a liquid cartridge attached to a white cylinder containing a battery. The liquid is a mixture of propylene glycol (a common chemical used in many in food products), vegetable glycerin, flavoring and nicotine. The battery heats the liquid into a vapor that the user inhales. Instead of the tradition term ‘smoking’, having e-cigarettes is called “vaping.”
E- cigarettes range from around USD 10 to as much as USD 70 depending upon the manufacturers. Although prices of the complete set of electronic cigarettes vary, pre-filled liquid cartridges usually cost a few dollars. , These cartridges usually last about as long as a pack of regular cigarettes. Flavoured e-liquid are also available for the vaping lovers at a price ranging from a few dollars to more than USD 10 depending on size.
So far, no sincere research has been carried to trace the health effects of inhaling a nicotine-laced vapour. There’s a lot scientists still don’t know about these modernized method of smoking. These include the actual chemical exposure that users receive compared with traditional smokers’ intake; the way vaporized nicotine is absorbed by the body; and the effects of secondhand vapour.
The e-liquids themselves are not required to meet any federal standards, although the FDA is expected to exercise its regulatory authority over the products later this year. For now, e-cigarettes are in a gray area and are not regulated as tobacco products or medical devices, even though they share similarities with both product categories.
Approval by the FDA means that a nicotine product, such as a patch or gum, has met standards of safety and effectiveness, said Dr. Anne Joseph, a tobacco researcher at the University of Minnesota. Joseph adds that electronic cigarettes may not be all bad for current tobacco users, with a couple of important caveats: Nonsmokers shouldn’t start, and e-cigarette consumers should use them only with the goal of quitting.