Center on Addiction Launches Expert Views: E-Cigarettes, a New Online Resource for Parents
The past few years have seen an explosion in the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), especially among young people. Since e-cigarettes entered the U.S. market several years ago, the news and information posted online and on social media often contain contradictory and confusing messages about their potential risks and benefits. This has led many cigarette smokers to wonder if e-cigarettes will help them stop smoking and many parents to wonder if e-cigarettes are safe for kids to use.
The confusion is made worse by the lack of agreement among experts. Linda Richter, PhD, Director of Policy Research and Analysis at Center on Addiction, explains that in the past, experts were generally united against the tobacco industry and its ability to apply its tremendous resources to sway public opinion and government policies. But when it comes to e-cigarettes, she notes that experts interested in the public’s health have differing viewpoints and many have mixed opinions about the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes.
“Many experts believe e-cigarettes have the potential to significantly reduce or even eliminate tobacco smoking and its costly effects,” said Dr. Richter. “But at the same time, some are also concerned that e-cigarettes are causing a new generation to get hooked on nicotine, just as our nation has finally begun to see dramatic declines in youth cigarette smoking.”
She added that the tobacco industry is applying many of the tactics it used for pushing cigarettes in their efforts to sell e-cigarettes and limit government regulation.
So what is the concerned smoker or parent supposed to think and do?
Launching today, our new website, Expert Views: E-Cigarettes provides much-needed answers to common questions about e-cigarettes, such as:
- How do they work?
- Are they addictive?
- Are they dangerous?
- Can they help you quit smoking?
The website, which can be viewed here, summarizes the latest scientific evidence in a bold new way, featuring simple and accessible short commentary, infographics, news and summaries of the latest research.
Dr. Richter and our Center especially hope that this new website will help parents become better educated about the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes and other vaping products and simplify this complex issue.
“We created this resource to provide a clear, balanced account of what is known about e-cigarettes – who's using them, what's appealing about them, how do they work, what are their risks,” said Dr. Richter. “The best way for parents to help their children make safe choices is to first know the facts.”