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Published on May 21, 2015
Today, virtually everyone recognizes that smoking tobacco is bad for people’s health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that tobacco smoke harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general.
Many former smokers have quit smoking all together while others have turned to other nicotine delivery methods such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). E-cigarettes are one of several smoking cessation methods, but due to the fact that the devices still deliver addictive nicotine, many public health advocates are wary of their use. In addition, the CDC reports that more than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This number reflects a three-fold increase, from about 79,000 in 2011, to more than 263,000 in 2013.
With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, exposure to aerosols from the devices are a growing concern for many. In addition to nicotine, other substances may be inhaled by users and others. Aerosolized flavorings along with propylene glycol, glycerin and other substances may be exposing people to airborne pollutants that could have health implications.
As of May 2015, only e-cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Whereas, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) currently regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products.
The FDA has indicated that they regularly receive voluntary reports of adverse events involving e-cigarettes from consumers, health professionals and concerned members of the public. Whether e-cigarettes caused all of these issues or not is not known, but they have included: • Pneumonia • Congestive heart failure • Disorientation • Seizure • Hypotension (low blood pressure), and • Other health problems.
While more research is needed, these are just a few things to consider regarding e-cigarettes and indoor environmental exposure concerns. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown in the video or below.