As part of our Addiction Speaker Series, in which leading experts present their latest findings, Dr. Michael F. Pesko, a health economist and an Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, spoke about his research on evaluating health policy changes, especially those affecting e-cigarette users, in his talk "E-cigarette Regulations: Evaluating Intended and Unintended Effects." We interviewed Dr. Pesko to hear more about this fascinating research.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that although adolescents have been smoking fewer traditional cigarettes, their use of e-cigarettes and hookah is on the rise. That’s why the new tobacco regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are a major milestone in public health.
As part of CASAColumbia’s Addiction Speaker Series, in which leading experts present their latest findings, Donna Shelley, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine, recently discussed her research on e-cigarettes. She shared her perspective on e-cigarettes’ effects on the re-normalization of smoking, marketing of e-cigarettes to kids, the role of big tobacco in e-cigarette marketing and sales, and what’s needed when it comes to future e-cigarette research.
Before the introduction of e-cigarettes to the U.S. market in 2007, a series of enormously successful public health initiatives significantly reduced the rate of cigarette smoking. These initiatives also increased negative attitudes toward tobacco and nicotine products among young people in the U.S. But the introduction of e-cigarettes may be beginning to reverse this trend.
The percent of middle and high school students who currently use e-cigarettes has tripled in the past year. This alarming increase happened while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering whether or not it will use its authority to regulate the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette and vaping companies use flavors as a way to market their products to customers and, public health experts argue, to attract youth. With the proliferation of exotic flavors comes the question – are the chemicals in these flavor ingredients safe to inhale? Scientists are warning: maybe not.
Along with kid-friendly flavors, celebrity endorsements and TV ads, e-cigarette companies are marketing their products to teens in similar ways as Big Tobacco companies did in the past. Is the use of e-cigarettes really “taking back freedom” or essentially robbing the next generation’s freedom from nicotine addiction?
Since its debut, the e-cigarette industry has been pushing its products as less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. This message has spread to adolescents: researchers have found that teens who perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes are more likely to use e-cigarettes. In 2012, about 1.8 million middle and high school-aged kids reported using an e-cigarette and over half a million had used one in the past 30 days. These numbers are expected to grow as awareness of these products increases.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are not the magic cure-all that they’ve been made out to be.
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