Growing e-cigarette trend raises safety concerns
From Big Tobacco’s sales and marketing perspective, these unregulated products will be a gold mine. As the tobacco industry knows only too well, the best way to get a lifetime user is to start them early. This explains current e-cigarette marketing tactics that revive the old glamorous promotional cues which for decades have attracted young people to the deadly habit of cigarette smoking. From device to packaging, e-cigarettes are designed to look exactly like a traditional cigarette but without the harsh flavor or burning sensation when inhaled. This would seem to produce a greater likelihood of second use, third use, and so forth, setting the user on a faster path to addiction and guaranteeing sales for years. Flavoring the “e-juice” with cherry, peach and menthol creates direct appeal to children and adolescents.
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Vapers can choose the amount of nicotine they want to inhale. By some estimates, a 30-milliliter bottle of juice equals 15 packs of cigarettes. Depending on pricing, that could amount to around 60 cents per cigarette pack.
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Editorial: LIRR is right to ban e-cigarettes
However, the long-term risks of inhalation are not clear. A German cancer institute reviewed research on e-cigarettes and said secondhand exposure may raise a child’s risk for asthma. Further, the German study said: “Adverse health effects for third parties exposed cannot be excluded because the use of electronic cigarettes leads to emission of fine and ultrafine inhalable liquid particles, nicotine and cancer-causing substances into indoor air.” As the devices are touted as an aid to quit smoking, U.S. cigarette makers are jumping into the market with flavors that include strawberry and pina colada. Meanwhile, the FDA is studying e-cigarette health effects and whether to regulate the devices as it regulates tobacco.
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