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E-cigarette exposure in children rises 1400% in pediatrics study, vaping industry feels the FDA heat

E-cigarette exposure in children rises 1400 percent in pediatrics study, even as vaping industry feels the heat from the FDA. There has been a long-running debate on whether vaping and the use of e-cigarettes is a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. Unfortunately, the answer is yet to be known, as e-cigarettes are still a new phenomenon and research is lagging behind the instant craze of vaping. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of teens and tweens using these products has doubled, so there has been a strong push to obtain as much information as possible regarding this style of smoking.

E-cigarettes mimic traditional cigarettes as their end glows on the inhale and a cloud of smoke follows on the exhale. Inside an e-cigarette, there is a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge that holds nicotine and other liquids and flavorings.

If nicotine is used, then e-cigarettes are still addicting, and quitting e-cigarettes with nicotine can yield similar withdrawal symptoms. Some evidence supports the argument that e-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but other research shows they pose a risk, especially in those with heart problems. Although research suggests that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they carry their own risk.

E-cigarettes raise the risk of nicotine poisoning in children

There is a raised risk of nicotine poisoning in children associated with e-cigarettes, according to a new study. Researcher Alisha Kamboj wrote, “The frequency of exposures to e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid among young children reported to US [Poison Control Centers] is rising rapidly. Children exposed to e-cigarette devices and nicotine liquid are 2.5 times more likely to have a severe outcome than children exposed to cigarettes, and lethal exposure has occurred.”

The researchers examined the data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS) on single exposures involving nicotine and tobacco products from January 2012 through April 2015 among children under the age of six.

During that time period, the NPDS received 29,141 calls related to exposure. E-cigarette exposure accounted for 14.2 percent of these exposures, cigarettes accounted for 60.1 percent, and other tobacco products accounted for 16.4 percent.

The researchers noted that exposure to e-cigarettes had increased by 1492.9 percent during the study period, while exposure to traditional tobacco remained the same.

Common routes of exposure as noted by the authors were ingestion, dermal, and inhalation/nasal. Children in particular may be specifically vulnerable due to their curiosity and the enticing packaging of e-cigarettes.

FDA extends regulations on all tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah

The FDA has extended regulations on all tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah. In the next year or so, minors will not be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes and all ingredients will have to pass FDA approval. Some vaping liquids, although they don’t contain typical cancer-causing ingredients seen in traditional tobacco products, still contain harmful chemicals.

Shop owners will now have to send applications to the FDA to have their product approved, which is not only timely but costly as well. Application estimates can range from several hundreds of dollars to the millions.

The new FDA guidelines include:

Registering manufacturing establishments and providing product listings to the FDA
Reporting ingredients, as well as harmful and potentially harmful constituents
Requiring premarket review and authorization of new tobacco products by the FDA
Placing health warnings on product packages and advertisements
Not selling modified risk tobacco products (including those described as light, low, or mild) unless authorized by the FDA
Not allowing products to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years (both in-person and online)
Requiring age verification by photo ID
Not allowing the selling of tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility)
Not allowing the distribution of free samples.

On the other hand, in the U.K., the e-cigarettes are deemed safe, because – unlike in America – teenagers in the U.K. have not jumped ship on them.

The new FDA rules will be implemented by August.


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