New report takes comprehensive look at health effects of e-cigarettes

26 January, 2018, 02:32 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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FDA commissioned the report at the direction of Congress to evaluate evidence of health effects of e-cigarettes after it delayed proposed regulations previous year.

The jury is still out on whether electronic cigarettes will prove to have a net positive or negative impact on public health, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

"There is conclusive evidence that in addition to nicotine, most e-cigarette products contain and emit numerous potentially toxic substances".

"In some circumstances, such as their use by non-smoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern", Eaton said.

A new report in the United States has found that e-cigarettes may help adults to stop smoking conventional cigarettes, but that their use amongst young people also increases the risk of them taking up conventional smoking when they're older.

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"E-cigarettes can not be simply categorized as either beneficial or harmful", said David Eaton, chair of the committee.

Philip Morris believes its product is closer to the taste and experience of traditional cigarettes, making it more attractive to smokers and reducing their contact with tar and other toxic byproducts of burning cigarettes.

The committee came to several conclusions about the usage, safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes as cessation devices.

The authors of the report, however, were not able to establish a significant link between e-cigarettes and long- term smoking.

In conclusion, E-Cigarettes may encourage kids to start smoking regular tobacco products, therefore an awareness campaign in this directions should be beneficial.

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There is moderate evidence that variability in the characteristics of different components of e-cigarettes (nicotine concentration, flavoring, device type, and brand) are important determinants of the risk and severity of dependence on e-cigarettes.

There is conclusive evidence that exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is highly variable and depends on the characteristics of the device and the e-liquid, as well as on how the device is operated. Looking over the next 50 years, e-cigarettes may have a negative public health impact, he added.

"The report makes clear: using e-cigarettes causes health risks, increases the chance that children and youth will start to use combustible tobacco products and exposes others to risky secondhand e-cigarette emissions", Harold Wimmer, the national president and chief executive of the American Lung Association, said in a statement. The FDA should reverse a decision it made a year ago to delay until August 2022 a key requirement that e-cigarettes already on the market undergo scientific review by the FDA. Additionally, the amount of nicotine intake in e-cigs for adult users is similar to that of regular cigarettes.

The FDA's commissioner, Scott Gottlieb said that it is mandatory to put products such as E-Cigarettes under thorough regulatory programs to evaluate the risks. "When it got down to answering the questions about what the impacts on health are, there is still a lot to be learned", the University of Washington's David Eaton toldThe New York Times.

The US FDA Strategic Policy Roadmap identified four priorities for 2018: reduce the burden of addiction crises that are threatening American families; leverage innovation and competition to improve health care, broaden access and advance public health goals; empower consumers to make better and more informed decisions about their diets and health, and expand the opportunities to use nutrition to reduce morbidity and mortality from disease; and strengthen the FDA's scientific work force and its tools for efficient risk management.

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