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Home > Public health policies on e-cigarettes.

Bhalerao, Aditya and Sivandzade, Farzane and Archie, Sabrina Rahman and Cucullo, Luca . (2019) Public health policies on e-cigarettes. Current Cardiology Reports, 21 (10) doi: 10.1007/s11886-019-1204-y

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC67136...

Tobacco continues to kill about 0.48 million Americans per year and there are currently 34.3 million smokers in the USA. As a consequence of the First Surgeon General's Report on Tobacco in 1964, tobacco control interventions on part of the government led to a significant decline in conventional tobacco product usage over the last few decades. However, more recently, a new entity in the form of electronic cigarettes has risen rapidly and has exposed a younger population to a plethora of dangerous consequences. Looking at e-cigarettes from the perspective of tobacco control however raises a lot of challenges. There is little doubt that existing smokers of combustible cigarettes who switch to e-cigarettes will be switching to a less harmful product. However, if the younger generation begins using e-cigarettes as a result of targeted marketing, appealing flavors and 'safer alternative' perception, decades of progress made in conventional tobacco control will be negated. Governments at the federal, state, and local levels have a mandate to once again implement new public health policies to ensure that non-conventional tobacco products like e-cigarettes are available as smoking cessation tools for existing smokers but at the same time do not play a role in ruining the health of future generations through addiction and disease.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the present scenario of regulations and policies impacting public health with respect to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) with the objective of providing a meaningful and balanced view of the challenges at hand with plausible recommendations.

RECENT FINDINGS: Nicotine in tobacco is known to cause addiction and dependence. It is particularly potent in children and young adults. E-cigarettes can deliver high concentrations of nicotine, and these concentrations can vary depending on the numerous constituents within the e-cigarette which vary greatly from one another. Use of e-cigarettes is implicated as a risk factor for future cigarette use in young adults. Moreover, e-cigarette usage patterns also depend on several sociodemographic factors. Banning tobacco products has shown to reduce smoking risk in youth and as such, strong e-cigarette regulation measures are needed for prevention. Effective regulation of ENDS faces a multitude of challenges. One such challenge is to prevent youth and non-smokers from getting habituated to nicotine through e-cigarettes. The intention of tobacco companies to sustain sales through harmful marketing strategies that tone down the risks and highlight e-cigarettes as a "much safer alternative" while promoting flavors appealing to children should be immediately prohibited. Another hazard is the endorsement of ENDS as devices meant for enhancing social interaction which opens a path for youth to make erroneous choices under peer pressure. On the other hand, several studies have reported that e-cigarettes significantly reduce an existing smoker's risk of being exposed to toxic tobacco smoke constituents that are normally present in cigarette smoke. This leads to the conclusions that e-cigarettes can be a tool for smoking cessation for current smokers. Public policy must take a multi-dimensional approach to balance these two extremes.


Item Type
Evidence resource
Drug Type
Tobacco
Intervention Type
AOD disorder harm reduction
Date
28 August 2019
Page Range
p. 111
Volume
21
Number
10
EndNote

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