E-Cigarettes–The Story Continues
I’ve already posted about the popularity of e-Cigarettes, but I’ve been finding more articles about them. Then Dr. Mark Gold, a consultant to MBRC, and University of Florida Distinguished Professor (just one of his titles), sent an email to Joan, MBRC’s CEO, about another article, and it was a sign that it was time to update that post.
The headline at the USA Today link that Dr. Gold sent was: Vaporizers, e-cigs of the pot world, are booming. The article quotes a 31-year-old [user] as saying that using ecigarettes to vaporize marijuana were the way of the future; he talked as if it was going to be a huge industry. One reason is that you don’t have the smell associated with pot, “as well as the uncertain dosage and delayed effects that come with ingesting marijuana-infused food and drink.”
The author of the article believes that “just as e-cigarettes have transformed the … national debate over tobacco… [they’re] bringing major change to [the] cannabis culture.” The demand is now greater for extracts and concentrates that can be easily used in the e-cigarettes.
The e-cigarettes have had a funny repercussion as well, for such a serous topic. “High Times magazine, which chronicles pot culture, recently expanded to its largest size ever, up 26 pages to 152 pages, to make room for vaporizers ads,” the editor said.
There’s a lot of other information in this article, by the way, too long to mention in a blog post. For example, the author mentions that experts are worried about e-Cigarettes and young people, and here’s another article that leads off with that thought: E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts.
This second article notes one big problem — many young people don’t even realize these are e-Cigarettes. One young female user calls them hokah pens, e-hookahs, or vape pipes. Another problem, the article says, is the marketing, designed to “avoid the stigma associated with cigarettes.” The point is that e-hookahs ARE e-Cigarettes.
This is deep stuff. The CDC is in the process of surveying teens about their use of e-Cigarettes, yet this organization doesn’t point out that they have these other names. Kids also call them vape pens and say that hookah pens are for doing tricks, like blowing smoke rings. The cigarettes or pens vary in the amount of nicotine they contain, too, although some have none. It’s confusing, and if it’s that involved, how can we expect kids to know what’s what if they’re not being educated?
This headline was a big surprise: European Parliament Approves Tough Rules on Electronic Cigarettes. In other words, Europe has put these products under stricter regulations than we have, and European laws “may help set a benchmark for standards around the world.” The group has banned advertising in 2016 and requires that the products carry warning messages and be child-proof. The regulations also limit the amount of nicotine to that of ordinary cigarettes. To be fair, the FDA is expected to issue regulations soon, and member states have to approve the EP’s regulations, which is expected to happen by April. But I didn’t expect Europe to take action before the U.S.
If you’re thinking that the current situation regarding e-cigarettes in the U.S. can’t get any worse, think again. A New York Times article says that the latest accompaniment to e-Cigarettes is liquid nicotine, which is the most potent form of nicotine. It contains powerful neurotoxins and can cause vomiting, seizures, and even death, the article says. A teaspoonful can kill a child. It sounds hard to believe, but they’re not regulated. E-liquids are more dangerous than tobacco because the nicotine is absorbed more quickly. Let’s hope that the FDA gets busy.