Thursday, June 11, 2015

Over 2 Million Kids Now Using E-cigarettes: Up in Vape, Part II

Last July, I posted about vaping and e-cigarettes.  Of special concern to me that day was the activity I had seen around a boardwalk smoke shop and the number of young people using e-cigarette and vaping products.  In part, I wrote the following:

The attraction of teens and young people to smoking is nothing new…however… there is still so much unknown about the effect of e-cigarettes and vaping on health…. Opportunities to “smoke” continue to grow, regardless of our lack of understanding of the long term consequences…despite claims that e-cigs are safer than regular cigarettes and can help people quit there is little research yet to support this….In the past year there has been a 21% increase in high school students who (use e-cigarettes.)

Earlier this week the American Medical Association released new recommendations for the regulation of e-cigarette products as well as a call for nationwide minimum age purchase requirements. This new policy is based on updated data from the Centers for Disease Control that found a more than 200% increase in the use of electronic cigarettes among high school and middle school students.  That number translates into a total of almost 2.5 million teens and children who use e-cigarettes, up from 780,000 in one year. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently considering a variety of regulations on e-cigarettes similar to cigarettes and tobacco products as well inviting public commentary on the subject.  The European Union has already voted to strictly regulate e-cigarettes starting in 2016, especially where children are concerned. A stumbling block for health policy, however, is that research is scant and still ongoing. While the dangers of cigarettes and tobacco products are well established, the true long-term health risks of electronic delivery systems remain to be seen.  A 2014 Japanese study found very high levels of toxic substances in e-cigarettes, however, other studies, such as one that measured metal exposure from e-cigarettes, found no significant difference versus regular cigarettes.  Still, these studies demonstrate that there is an as yet unquantifiable risk for those who are non-tobacco users using electronic products, none of which are regulated for how they are made or what they contain.

The call for more research and regulation by national as well as international medical, dental, and government agencies alarmed at the growing number of both children and adults using e-cigarettes is a portend of the future.  Their apprehension, based on collective professional, scientific, and health knowledge, as well as a concern for public safety, should not be ignored.   

To read the new ADA press release visit:

For information on current FDA activity regarding e-cigarettes visit:

This information is not intended to treat or diagnose any dental or medical condition or illness.  Please visit your medical or dental health professional if you need medical or dental treatment.

Sources:;, www,ada,org,;; Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Oct 28;11(11):11192-200. doi: 10.3390/ijerph111111192. Carbonyl compounds generated from electronic cigarettes. Bekki K, Uchiyama S,  Ohta K, Inaba Y, Nakagome H, Kunugita N.  Farsalinos, K.E.; Voudris, V.; Poulas, K.; Are Metals Emitted from Electronic Cigarettes a Reason for Health Concern? A Risk-Assessment Analysis of Currently Available Literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5215-5232.