Calvert County Health Department
The rising popularity of electronic cigarettes, more commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, may result in a new generation of nicotine addicted Americans. There are a lot of claims and advertising about health benefits made by e-cig manufacturers, but there is very little research to back up these claims. Vapers should understand the potential risks involved with the use of these products as they make choices about what they put in their bodies.
What are Electronic Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery operated products that are designed to deliver nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals. These products work by vaporizing liquid chemicals, producing a hot gas that resembles tobacco smoke. Various features of e-cigarettes include interchangeable cartridges (for different flavors and non-nicotine variants), rechargeable batteries, and synthetic chemicals.
The Risks of E-Cigs
Although companies may advertise e-cigs to be safe products, there are still risks consumers should be aware of:
- Perhaps most importantly, these products are not regulated by the FDA or any other agency. That means vapers must trust that the manufacturer is accurately labeling the contents of the package. It also means that there is no independent quality control for potency or safety.
- Many e-cigs, even if labeled otherwise, still contain the addictive chemical nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive and harmful substance. Skin exposure to, and ingestion of, liquid nicotine is toxic and has resulted in increased calls to poison centers across the country; a 1 mg/kg drop of liquid nicotine is enough to be a lethal dose for a human adult. Over 50% of poison control calls for e-juice involves children <6 years-old drinking flavored liquid nicotine used in e-cigs.
- Nicotine is not the only toxic chemical that can be found in e-cigs. Compared to traditional cigarettes, e-cigs may contain fewer chemicals, but most of these chemicals have never been evaluated for safety when heated and breathed into our lungs. We do know that variable amounts of some cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) have been found in many brands.
Because the e-cigarette industry is fairly new, research on the health effects of vaping are largely unknown. This is also true for secondhand emissions. With e-cig companies actively marketing towards teens, it is possible that the dramatic decrease in the number of smokers in the U.S. over the past 30 years may start to reverse. The appeal of sweet flavors such as bubblegum and cotton candy make e-cigarettes attractive to children and teens.
E-cigs are not approved as a smoking cessation tool by the FDA. There are medically-approved and effective ways to quit smoking.
The Calvert County Health Department offers a FREE comprehensive Smoking Cessation Program. The eight week program uses a combination of behavioral counseling, and a variety of cessation products. The cessation products are provided free of charge only to individuals who are REGISTERED, ATTEND and PARTICIPATE in the Program.
Tobacco Cessation Class Schedule
Contact : 410-535-5400 x348
Classes also available in Spanish
contact 410-535-5400 x456 or 301-855-1353 x456
QUIT KITS AVAILABLE!
CALL 410-535-5400 OR 301-855-1353 EXT. 359 TO ORDER YOURS NOW!
MARYLAND TOBACCO QUITLINE
VISIT THE WEBSITE AT
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm172906.htm
University of Maryland Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/programs/publichealth/tobacco/products_devices