What are E-Cigarettes and why is their use being regulated

People who choose not to use e-cigarettes can still be exposed to the dangers of secondhand aerosol. Secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes has many of the same effects as secondhand smoke. In 2016, a U.S. Surgeon General’s report concluded that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless and contains chemicals known to be carcinogens.
The liquid in e-cigarettes has become a household hazard. E-liquid can be candy- or fruit-flavored and packaged in a way that is appealing to young children. Cases of nicotine poisoning in young children have skyrocketed. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the accidental ingestion of e-liquid rose by 1,500 percent from 2013 to 2016. Even small doses can be deadly, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. For a child, a deadly dose is 10 mg, which is about two teaspoons of e-liquid.
Another concern about e-cigarettes is how their use has increased among young people. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that between 2011 and 2015, e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes. This is a problem because nicotine is known to impair brain development in young people. E-cigarettes can be easier for adolescents to purchase and are often advertised to young people in more attractive ways than traditional cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes are not subject to many laws that regulate traditional cigarettes, such as age limits on sales, taxation and labeling requirements,” said Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, dean, University Honors College; Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Professor; professor of medicine and of pediatrics, School of Medicine; and director, Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health. “They also come in youth-oriented flavorings that laws have limited in traditional cigarettes, such as apple, bubble gum and chocolate candy cane.”
Dr. Primack’s research has shown that e-cigarettes may lead to smoking traditional cigarettes among young people. For example, he found that nonsmokers who started using e-cigarettes were nearly four times as likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes within one year.
Researchers plan further study into the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use.
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