Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about

The rise in cases of otherwise healthy young adults who have been hospitalized or even died from vaping-associated lung injury is alarming.

Many people don’t know what is contained in these vaping devices, what the reported health effects actually mean, and, most importantly, why all of this developed so quickly, considering that e-cigarettes have only been popular for fewer than 10 years.

Vaping describes the process of inhaling aerosols generated by devices such as e-cigarettes.

When e-cigarettes first came to the U.S. in 2006, many smoking cessation experts were optimistic. They viewed the delivery of nicotine through e-cigarettes to be a useful alternative to traditional cigarettes. That is because e-cigarettes did not have all of the other harmful combustion products inhaled through cigarette smoke. Since there is no doubt that smoking traditional cigarettes is harmful to your health – and the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. – e-cigarettes were marketed as a “safer” alternative.

As an inhalation toxicologist, I study how inhaled chemicals, particles and other agents affect human health. Since e-cigarettes were introduced, I have been concerned about how the scientific community could possibly know the full spectrum of their dangers. After all, it took decades for epidemiologists to discover that regularly inhaling the smoke from burning plant material, tobacco, caused lung cancer. Why would the scientific community be so quick to assume e-cigarettes would not have hidden dangers that might take years to manifest too?


Source: Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about

Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about : The Conversation

Many smokers have reported that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes has helped their physical well-being, including reduced coughing.

But a few randomized clinical trials examining the use of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool have shown mixed results. While some trials demonstrate a significant increase in cessation success (from 9.9% to 18%), people using e-cigarettes were much more likely to remain dependent on nicotine as compared to those randomized for more traditional nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patch, gum and nasal spray. Or, they were more likely to relapse to using cigarettes.

In short, whether, how, and to what extent e-cigarettes have potential as a cessation tool is not yet settled, especially considering that more than 80% of smokers randomized to use e-cigarettes continued to smoke after the cessation trial.

Safer than a spitting cobra

Cessation claims aside, the messaging of e-cigarettes as a “safer” alternative may have led many of the 3.6 million teenagers in the U.S. who use e-cigarettes today to believe these devices are “safe.” “Safer” does not equal “safe,” and the messaging of “safer” was based on comparisons to cigarettes.


Source: Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about : The Conversation

Trump seeks ban on flavored e-cigarettes | TheHill

The Trump administration is seeking to ban all nontobacco flavors of e-cigarettes in the wake of a massive spike in teen vaping and the spread of a mysterious illness that has sickened hundreds of people across the country.

President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that vaping is a problem “especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children.”

Youth vaping has skyrocketed in the past year, driven largely by teenagers becoming drawn to sweet and fruit-flavored e-cigarette pods easily accessible in stores. The FDA has struggled to keep up with regulation.

Federal statistics have shown a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students in just one year.

“We can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said. “People are dying with vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely.”

The Food and Drug Administration is working on releasing final guidance to implement the ban, but Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said it will take several weeks to develop.

Azar said after a 30-day effective date, all flavored e-cigarettes would be removed from the market, pending FDA approval. Manufacturers of tobacco-flavors would have to file for approval by May 2020, Azar said.

“Kids are getting access to these products despite our best efforts at enforcement … they’ve been going at it so we simply have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace until they’ve secured FDA approval if they can,” Azar said.

Most e-cigarette brands sold in the U.S. are legal, but none of them have been subject to FDA review, leaving a regulatory gray area as more and more products flood the market.

The agency gained the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009, but it wasn’t extended to vaping products until 2016. When the Trump administration took over in 2017, the FDA decided to delay enforcing the laws until 2022, much to the frustration of public health groups. In response to a federal lawsuit, the agency moved that timeline up again, to next spring.

Earlier Wednesday, Azar met with Trump and acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Ned Sharpless at the White House to finalize details of the announcement.

The move to ban flavors also comes as at least 450 cases of a mysterious respiratory condition have been reported across 33 states. The severity of the cases vary, but six people have died.


Source: Trump seeks ban on flavored e-cigarettes | TheHill