Oh e-cigarettes, just when we thought we had stopped talking about them, here we go again.
The debate on whether e-cigarettes are safe continues. This time, New York Governor Cuomo is chiming in by announcing a new measure aimed at fighting teen smoking.
This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially announced that the state is banning all electronic cigarette use in public and private schools. The decision comes as vaping among young people is on the rise.
When e-cigs were first introduced, many marketing efforts were focused on promoting e-cigs as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. However, these marketing tactics had an eerily similar vibe to the way cigarettes were marketed in their earlier years. We all know how that turned out. Back then, many people believed cigarettes helped reduce body weight and curb cravings. Even doctors smoked cigarettes in their offices, and smoking occurred on airplanes and indoors.
Clearly, a lot has changed since then.
We now know there is a host of medical complications that are the result of cigarette smoking. These include heart disease, lung cancer, and COPD.
Now, the same scrutiny is occurring at a much faster rate since health experts and the general public noticed the same pattern was occurring. In fact, a study done a while back found that the artificial flavoring in e-cigarettes could be linked to popcorn lung, a respiratory condition. This unfortunate condition is the result of inhaling the artificial flavors in e-cigarettes. The condition was named after a similar incident that occurred in popcorn factory workers who were constantly inhaling the artificial popcorn flavoring.
Moving forward, a statement released by the governor’s office states:
“Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens, and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools. This measure will further this administration’s efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier New York for all.”
Last December, the US Surgeon General declared the teen use of e-cigarettes “a major public health concern” nothing that between 2011 and 2015, use of e-cigs among teens has increased 900%! According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, boys are twice as likely to smoke e-cigarettes as girls are.
At a December 2016 press conference, then-Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy said:
“Adolescent brains are particularly sensitive to nicotine’s effects,” noting that it can cause “a constellation of nicotine-induced neural and behavioral alterations.”
Research has revealed that e-cigarettes are far from safe. All of them emit harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Not only that, but the chemicals inhaled by e-cigarettes can cause asthma, cancer, stroke and heart disease. This is one of the reasons why many restaurants and public places have barred the use of e-cigarettes indoors.
Young people that vape are increasingly susceptible due to still developing. However, the marketing for e-cigs tends to attract teenagers. A study from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu showed that among non-smokers, there is a higher chance that teens who try e-cigarettes will eventually use cigarettes as well.
“E-cigarettes had a risk-promoting effect for onset of smoking,” said researchers.
With this new law in place, the city of New York will have more stringent policies on teen vape use. Just like cigarettes, e-cigs were marketed as healthier alternatives to smoking. It turns out; there is not enough evidence to confirm that e-cigs are in any way better than cigarettes.
Furthermore, there is still a danger even if it does end up being less than cigarettes. Your best bet is to not smoke. However, if you are struggling with addiction and need some support, give us a call. We want to help.