Electronic cigarettes and vaporizing devices became available less than a decade ago, and have since grown into a multi-billion dollar industry despite a lack of data demonstrating their safety for consumers.
Regulation is needed urgently to prevent a repeat performance by Big Tobacco. Our youth in particular need to be protected, given the disturbing trend of increased teen use of e-cigarettes and the accompanying potential rise in nicotine addiction.
Although breast cancer diagnosis is twice as common in women (1 in 8 women will get breast cancer) compared to lung cancer (1 in 16 women), the cure rate for lung cancer is much lower, resulting in more deaths from lung cancer.
The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly in Washington, but we can only hope that the FDA can meet this new challenge with timely action to regulate the importation of e-cigarettes containing ingredients that are known health hazards.
While smokers-turned-vapers tout e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to cigarettes despite lacking medical data to back that up, there's a demographic being exposed to the liquid nicotine products for no good reason: children.
It is time for smokers and vapers to join the growing anti-drug war movement. Smokers and vapers may not think about it, but they are also drug users and they are being demonized and threatened like other drug users. And vapers may not know it, but they are harm-reductionists.
Young people are not stupid. They can handle the truth. In fact, it was honest anti-smoking campaigns that have led to big drops in smoking rates. We need to continue with honest education about vaping and e-cigs.
The American Heart Association (AHA) should be commended for its review of e-cigs. It places appropriate emphasis on the importance of rapidly carrying out research to fill key gaps in our ability to develop science-based regulations.