E-cigs are electrical devices that vaporize propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol-based liquid solutions into aerosol mists typically containing various concentrations of nicotine. Having been marketed since 2007 or so, the use of e-cigs (vaping) has now exploded to a multi-billion dollar industry primarily targeted at young people and now heavily controlled by the tobacco industry. The three largest tobacco companies now control over 70% of the e-cig market.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the prevalence of use of e-cigs has increased nine-fold among high school students and now exceeds the use of cigarettes in that population. Having prevailed in federal court cases, the industry has succeeded in having e-cigs labeled as “tobacco products” instead of “ drug delivery devices” which makes it much easier to market these products, especially to young people. Because there are currently no product standards for e-cigarettes, they are almost entirely unregulated on the U.S. market!
There have been precious few studies evaluating the health consequences or long term effects of e-cigs, especially in young people. What the scientific community does know is that:
- The effects of nicotine on the developing brains of teenagers include altered development of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus.
- Smokers who use e-cigs are 59% less likely to quit smoking than those who do not use them.
- High levels of nicotine dosing via e-cigs may increase the risk of periodontal disease.
- The American Heart Association, The American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies and the American Association for Dental Research have all cautioned against the use of e-cigs.
So there you have it! Just don’t do it!
See you soon for your next appointment! If you have any questions in the meantime, you can contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA to discuss any concerns you may have regarding the use of e-cigarettes.