There is a lot of debate surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes. In 2007, the electronic cigarette or “e-cig” was introduced and has since been celebrated by smokers as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. Unlike traditional tobacco, e-cigs vaporize liquid nicotine, which eliminates the inhalation of tar and other carcinogens.
Sound like a healthier option? Many say ‘yes,’ but health experts disagree. Officials believe e-cigarettes not only pose serious risks to smokers, but others in their homes as well – particularly children. This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a dramatic increase in e-cig poisonings. According to the report, calls to poison control centers have sky-rocketed from one call in September 2010, to over 200 calls in February 2014. Approximately half of the calls involved children under 5, and about 40 percent were in adults over 20 years of age.
Experts hold that these statistics indicate an emerging public health concern caused by a product that is not regulated by the FDA.
“The e-cigarette industry specifically targets children and teens with appealing flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, and neither these products nor their liquid nicotine refills are currently regulated by the federal government,” American Academy of Pediatrics president James M. Perrin, MD.
Do you think electronic cigarettes should be regulated? Are they generally helpful or harmful? Share with us below.