E-Cigarettes Turning into a Harmful Addiction

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There seem to be a rise in advertisements of e-cigarettes. Reuters

Like every coin has two sides, e-cigarettes, too, have two sides to it, in which one side suggests that it helps smokers quit smoking, and the other suggests that these devices may be seen as a portal for nicotine addiction by teen smokers. Nicotine, either as a vapor or through combustion in a regular cigarette, raises the heart rate, blood pressure and affects the central nervous system.

The colours, flavours and packaging are so attractive that a lot of people are getting lured into buying this product. This product isn't following the Food and Drug Administration's regulation of packaging, advertising and distribution. Experts and critics are questioning the influence that these products are having on teenagers. 'Big Tobacco' is investing in great sums in the production and distribution of these electronic devices, multiplying their overall revenues. About $2 billion is the revenue accounted for the e-cigarettes by the big tobacco companies.

FCCP pulmonary and critical care specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Klaus D. Lessnau MD, said, "It has been beneficial for helping people to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes but turning e-cigarettes into an entry port for young people is shameful. My 15 year old daughter tells me that some of her friends smoke e-cigarettes frequently and to make this possible is dishonest behavior from greedy companies."

Lessnau suggests that the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes as it remains unscrupulous to use electronic cigarettes to turn teenagers and young adults into nicotine addicts and that FDA regulation of all aspects of the production and distribution, as well as a strict ban on all advertising of the liquid nicotine devices must come sooner than later.

A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures said that 38 states have prohibited sales of electronic cigarettes to minors. A survey in 2012, released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that almost three per cent of teenagers used an electronic cigarette and that its use by middle school students have doubled from 2011 to 2012. It showed that 1.78 million Unites States middle and high school students had tried e-cigarettes in 2012. Of these million teenagers, 75 per cent admitted to smoking regular cigarettes which shows that e-cigarettes lead to the use of tobacco products.

Senator Charles Schumer argued for mandatory child-proof safety caps and warning labels as part of developing regulations on liquid nicotine cartridges in response to overdoses of liquid nicotine in teens and children.

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