Added by Wandola Amoth on April 6, 2014.
Saved under Andrew Wandola, Health, Smoking
Tags e cigarettes

According to health officials, the number of calls to U.S. poison control centers rose sharply between 2010 and 2014. This shocking study comes at a time when the delivery of the popular nicotine flavor has increased all over the United States and other parts of the world. The new report questions the safety of e cigarettes as scientists claim that the nicotine content can be harmful to the health of the smoker.

According to the director of CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, the use of electronic cigarettes has increased over the last few years and the same case applies to the level of poisoning. These smokeless cigarettes were introduced in China back in 2004 and at the moment, their performance in the U.S. market has reached the $2 billion mark. Unlike tobacco, these battery powered devices are smoked by inhaling nicotine vapors which do not contain the dangerous carbon monoxide or tar.

Experts had hoped that the introduction of these modern cigarettes to the market would help heavy smokers quit this habit but unfortunately, they seem to be creating a new type of addiction as more people are now interested in finding out how safe they are. The cigarettes have been accused of creating a gateway to smoking especially for underage persons and teenagers. The fact that tobacco is not included in the ingredients also makes it possible for restricted persons to smoke it without being noticed by the smell.

Shockingly, some of the calls made to the poison centers involved children of 5 years or under. In conventional cigarettes, poisoning can occur when children chew them but electronic versions are quite different. For children to be poisoned with electronic cigarettes, the nicotine liquid should be ingested, absorbed through the skin or eyes, or inhaled directly. When this happens, the affected persons will most likely experience serious side effects such as nausea, eye irritation and vomiting.

Frieden also revealed that these cigarettes are becoming a greater threat to children than adults. This is quite shocking because children do not walk to retail stores to buy them. The situation can only be blamed on poor parenting or lack of keenness. When these cigarettes are stored carelessly within the reach of children, the risk of poisoning is always high. Besides, some of them come with sweet flavors such as candy and fruits, which are somehow appealing to kids. They may not know that they are poisoning themselves as they play around or suck these small gadgets since their innocent minds are always attracted to things that have great taste and smell.

These shocking findings have created huge debates in France as to whether e cigs should be banned or not. When electronic cigarettes were first introduced into the market, they were regarded as the safest and healthiest way of smoking but things are about to change. The suggestion to ban them has already attracted sharp reactions from sellers in France and some parts of the United States. However, in Canada, the Ontario Poison Center has recorded very few cases of poisoning related to electronic cigarettes. Scientists are still carrying out investigations to determine how safe E cigarettes are, but for now, carelessness and ignorance could be the major cause of poisoning especially in cases where kids are involved.

By Andrew Wandola


CBC News

Daily Mail UK

American Live Wire

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The time to regulate e-cigarettes is now –

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For most of the 20th century, Big Tobacco companies argued that the hardworking tobacco farmer was the ultimate victim in any attempt to regulate their industry. It s a familiar argument that industry regulation just hurts the little guy.

Today e cigarettes are largely produced in China. No US farmers or factory workers have livelihoods that depend on e cigs. But if the e cig industry continues unregulated, it may get a bigger foothold in the US economy, and public health may again become beholden to a small handful of heartstring pulling stakeholders who speak on behalf of an even smaller number of corporate executives.

The political history of tobacco farming furnishes a cautionary tale. Since the surgeon general first linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer in 1964, farmers and their representatives have been mainstays in the opposition to tax increases, marketing restrictions, and other antismoking legislation.

At one 1969 congressional hearing on cigarette labeling, a Kentucky representative argued that farmers, the thousands of decent, law abiding people should not be sacrificed on a statistical altar erected by many who are antismoking zealots.

Farmers also testified frequently at congressional hearings, providing a living illustration of their congressmen s overheated rhetoric. For whatever health benefit would be rendered by more stringent warning labels, tobacco growers were made earthy ambassadors of the tangible social costs of regulation or, in the words of the farmer who spoke that day, the economic devastation which would come to tobacco growers if tobacco is sentenced and executed.

It is true Many US tobacco growing regions have never fully recovered from the antismoking measures that have served to safeguard public health. Fortunately, no such dilemma faces those who want tighter oversight of e cigarettes. Today, that means any oversight at all, as the devices are not currently governed by federal law, though New York City and a few other states and cities have placed e cigs under their smoking bans.

E cigs are much less pernicious than a tobacco cigarette and may even have a public health benefit if they can help smokers quit. But because of the regulatory vacuum, the public doesn t know, exactly, what s in e cigs, neither do we know much about how people use them.

If e cigarettes can be cessation devices, as many hope, then they should be regulated like the patch or nicotine gum. But other data raise the possibility that in fact, e cigs could be activation devices, particularly for young people or equally problematic, that they actually weaken smokers ability and resolve to quit smoking. If that s the case, there should be common sense restrictions on flavor additives or advertising.

Such regulations have obvious benefits They would help consumers make more informed choices, reduce youth consumption, and help preserve the public s antismoking victory.

And, for now, the economic costs are minimal. No state economy is today dependent on the production of e cigarettes. This may not be the case forever, though. As electronic cigarettes grow in popularity, more Americans may find themselves invested in those little glowing cylinders.

Right now, electronic cigarettes don t have much of a place in our narrative about America Thomas Jefferson never grew an e cigarette, the noble yeoman farmer never once hauled his harvest of e cigs to market, and whole regions have not grown on the proceeds of their sale.

But the hardworking laborer is still a potent political cover. When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned the sale of sugary drinks, it was the small business owners minority owners of bodegas that became the emblem of the perils of regulatory overreach. And earlier this year, when President Obama proposed a tax hike of 94 cents on cigarettes (to no avail), the tobacco farmer reappeared as a sympathetic proxy for the rest of the industry. Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat from North Carolina, argued that the tobacco tax would hurt farmers and the economy in North Carolina.

Yesterday s tobacco farmer might be tomorrow s hardworking e cigarette entrepreneur. Swift regulation by the Food and Drug Administration can help ensure that parts of the US economy do not, once again, become dependent on nicotine.

Sarah Milov is a visiting scholar at Harvard s Center for History and Economics and will be an assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia beginning August 2014. She is writing a book on tobacco and politics.