Lately, the debate has become hugely emotional: Are e-cigarettes a new avenue for addiction or do they really help people get off regular cigarettes? Until recently, there has been scant evidence to back either side. However, a new report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) could help address that void.
Variously referred to as e-cigs, e-cigarettes work by heating up fluid that contains nicotine and consequently producing a vapor that a user inhales. The report found that nearly half of the current tobacco smokers in the U.S. (there are 45,000,000 tobacco smokers in the U.S. alone) had tried e-cigs at least once and the figure was even higher (55%) among those who had recently quit smoking.
This survey of over 35,000 U.S. adults essentially marks the first time that detailed data about e-cigarettes has been widely availed and was done as part of the National Health Interview Survey- a collection of surveys concerning various health issues. Among those using e-cigs when surveyed, 22% had recently quit while 16% said they were still active smokers.
The study also found that the devices were highly popular among young adults aged 18 to 24- nearly 22% of adults who had ever tried an e-cig fell into this age group. Moreover, among the non-smokers, 10% of those in this age group had tried e-cigs. This increased usage by young adults who have never smoked is certainly noteworthy. However, the survey did not ask ex-smokers and smokers whether e-cigs had helped them quit- only whether they had ever used them.
The widespread appeal of e-cigarettes among young people has heightened fears that these devices may hook an entire new generation on nicotine, eventually leading them to actual tobacco smoking. What the report shows is that young adults who have previously never smoked are now picking up e-cigs in alarming numbers. Yet others worry that it remains far from clear how safe e-cigarettes are and whether smokers are actually using them as a crutch to continue their harmful ways or whether they actually help them quit.
What is obvious is that we are witnessing that people are smoking traditionally as well as using e-cigs yet there is no evidence to suggest that there are any health benefits associated with this- especially when continuing to smoke regular cigarettes.
Unsurprisingly, the e-cig industry interprets the report very differently citing it as great news for the public health sector. They back this statement by citing that the study barely shows any use of e-cigs among non-smokers, and great, if not significant usage, among those who have recently quit smoking as well as current smokers who wish to use these devices in their attempts to quit.
Insiders also think that the data indicates that many young people experiment with e-cigs without the burden of getting hooked. They postulate that e-cigs are something that young people are perhaps willing to take a puff of because they look cool- but they are not something that creates nicotine dependency in those who previously did not have it. And the polls seem to back this up. Latest polls continue to show broad public support for the regulation of e-cigs by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
After a raging debate that has lasted for several years on the health risks that are associated with e-cigarettes, the federal government finally brought the matter to rest. There were new rules and regulations issued by the FDA which have for the first time ever targeted e-cigarettes. The regulations seek to extend federal authority on the e-cigarettes by banning their sale to anyone under 18 years and their manufacture. This is widely targeted to arrest any side effects that they may have on their users’ health. Make sure to check me article on side effects: http://e-cigarettepros.com/vaping-side-effects/
The upcoming regulations are captured in 499 pages and are a clear testament that the government is ready to approach these devices in an approach that is more restrictive. The regulations seek to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone who has not attained the age of 18. They further require that any person under 26 years should produce photo identification when they go to buy them. There are new health warnings that will be required of the e-cigarettes. In addition, the manufacturers ought to seek out federal permission in order for them to continue marketing all the e-cigarettes that were launched ever since 2007. These e-cigarettes are the ones that make up the majority of the market and hence the strong opposition from the industry players. A large number of the companies will have to put in their premarket applications for review to assess the impact they will have on public health.
The new regulations are coming due to the various concerns that public health experts have held on for so long with no steps being taken by the federal government. There have also been concerns that the e-cigarette devices have never been properly studied in an extensive way to establish whether they have any harms or benefits. Public health advocates had also exposed their concerns that the e-cigarettes could encourage the youth and upcoming generations to take up smoking of conventional cigarettes. The regulations are viewed by many public health experts as ways of ensuring that future generations are protected from the harmful effects of tobacco. This will also provide adults with enough information on the e-cigarettes to enable them make informed decisions when opting for them.
Finally, the FDA has finally released the regulations that it had proposed to release some time ago in order to safeguard the Americans public health. This is widely expected to protect people from the harmful side effects associated with tobacco use. This industry has for the longest time being without any federal regulations governing it and hence the release.