The Washoe County Health District issued a position statement today making several recommendations related to the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).
“Studies indicate that e-cigarettes do not just emit ‘harmless water vapor,’ but typically, contain nicotine, flavoring agents, propylene glycol and toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “It’s important that people know that e-cigarettes can be dangerous, not only to the user, but also to people exposed to the second-hand vapors.”
E‐cigarettes are considered electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and are battery‐operated devices, often designed to resemble a cigarette, that deliver and emit a nicotine‐containing aerosol. They are commonly referred to as e‐cigs, e‐hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, vape pipes, or mods.
There are disposable and rechargeable models and some have refillable systems that hold a larger volume of the e‐cigarette liquid (e‐liquid) and heat the e‐liquid to higher temperatures.
According to studies released by Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, the World Health
Organization, and others, at least ten chemicals identified in e-cigarette aerosol are classified as carcinogens and reproductive toxins. Moreover, secondhand e-cigarette aerosol contains nicotine, ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins that are known to cause cancer. Exposure to fine and ultrafine particles can exacerbate respiratory ailments like asthma, and constrict arteries which can trigger a heart attack.
Dick and other health officials are concerned by the increase in use among youth and the notion that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.
“E-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy and no scientific evidence has shown e-cigarettes help smokers successfully quit traditional cigarettes,” Dick added.
Among the five recommendations listed in the Health District’s statement, treating e-cigarettes like all other tobacco products would mean limiting purchasing of e-cigarettes by minors; creating a tax structure for e-cigarettes; and, prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in locations where combustible cigarettes are currently prohibited.
A copy of the full Washoe County Health District Position Statement on e-cigarettes can be found at www.Get HealthyWashoe.com.