Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
What do the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology think about electronic nicotine delivery systems?
Pretty much everyone agrees that tobacco cigarettes are harmful. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this to say about them on its official website.
“Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general… Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.” – Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/.
But what do American health associations have to say about electronic cigarettes?
E-cigs technically fall under a category called ENDS, which stands for ‘electronic nicotine delivery systems’. There has been quite a bit of research done about this delivery method, though as of right now, there hasn’t been quite enough to satisfy either of these organizations.
In a statement published on Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (you can find this statement here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573384.), they both had quite a few things to say about ENDS and the role they may potentially be able to play in the fight against tobacco-related diseases, health problems, and deaths in the US.
Here’s a basic list of points made in the statement that have to do with what these two organizations have to say about the subject. They say that…
- ENDS might be useful if they can reduce smoking rates or prevent/reduce known negative health effects of smoking
- ENDS could also be harmful, especially to younger users, if they pose any risk as a ‘gateway device’
- They have recognized that ENDS have a lot of potential to alter the patterns of tobacco use among the general public
- Definitive data is lacking in regard to how well they might work
- Additional research is recommended to figure out exactly how helpful/detrimental they may be
- It is recommended that federal, state, and local governments pass regulations on ENDS products, requiring: FDA registration, ingredient reporting, childproof caps on E-liquids, and that appropriate warning labels are used on ENDS products
- Youth sales of ENDS products should be prohibited, as should child-friendly E-liquid flavors
- ENDS use should be prohibited in the same areas where smoking is prohibited
It’s definitely encouraging to see that medical organizations are willing to look into the potential benefits that E-cigs have to offer, though, at the same time, it’s clear that more research needs to be done.
Many would also argue that placing the same restrictions on E-cig usage that are currently in place for cigarettes would make them unduly difficult to use and obtain for those who may wish to make use of them as an alternative – though only time will tell where they will eventually land in the legal landscape.