US Surgeon General: E-cigarettes are unsafe for young people

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, America’s leading medical doctor, states that electronic cigarettes are unsafe, causes addiction to nicotine, harms brain development and exposes lungs to dangerous chemicals such as heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles, and diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease [1]. E-cigarettes are targeted at children and youth; in the US, 60 per cent of school children believe e-cigarettes do not cause harm [1].

The US Surgeon General states in a video clip: “Your kids are not an experiment. Protect them from e-cigarettes” [2] because it is acknowledged that nicotine does impair normal brain development and causes addiction, no matter how it gets into the human body [1].

Coupled with this excellent advice, a recent year-long study published in in the international peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA Cardiology found that “habitual e-cigarette use was associated with a shift in cardiac autonomic balance toward sympathetic predominance and increased oxidative stress, both associated with increased cardiovascular risk.” [3]. This means that vaping can cause heart disease – similar to the effects of tobacco smoking [4]. Flavours used to attract young people to electronic cigarettes have been found to breakdown especially into the chemical aldehyde compound when the electronic cigarette liquid mixes and vaporizes prior to inhaling [5]. The user can receive up to 250 times the ‘safe’ level of cancer causing aldehydes in just one inhalation [6].

The World Foundation for Natural Science is outspoken about the harmful effects of smoking [7] and of electronic cigarettes [8]. There is no place on this earth for smoking anymore. The US Surgeon General gives this advice to parents: talk to your children. “You can influence your children’s decision about whether to use e-cigarettes. Even if you have used tobacco yourself, your children will listen if you discuss your struggles with nicotine addiction. Be clear that you don’t approve of them smoking or using e-cigarettes, and that you expect them to live tobacco-free.” [1] We whole-heartedly agree.

Sources:
[1] US Surgeon General risk of e-cigarettes and advice to parents, youth and children: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/default.htm

[2] US Surgeon General quotation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qtXtBc6Akc (video also found on the Surgeon General’s website [1])

[3] Roya S. Moheimani et al., “Increased Cardiac Sympathetic Activity and Oxidative Stress in Habitual Electronic Cigarette Users: Implications for Cardiovascular Risk”, JAMA Cardiology. Published online February 1, 2017. DOI:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.5303, http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/article-abstract/2600166

[4] The Daily Mirror, “Vaping could increase your risk of heart disease – just like smoking cigarettes”, 3rd February 2017 http://www.mirror.co.uk/science/e-cigarettes-could-increase-your-9745008

[5] A. Khlystov, V. Samburova, “Flavoring Compounds Dominate Toxic Aldehyde Production during E-Cigarette Vaping” Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (23), pp 13080–13085 Published online November 8, 2016. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05145 http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/acs.est.6b05145

[6] Reporting on reference 5: The Daily Mirror, “Scientists say flavoured e-cigarettes 250 times more toxic than recommended safety level”, 2nd Dec 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/scientists-say-flavoured-e-cigarettes-9374556

[7] The World Foundation for Natural Science on the harm caused by smoking: https://www.naturalscience.org/topics/health/smoking/

[8] The World Foundation for Natural Science on the harm caused by electronic cigarettes:https://www.naturalscience.org/publications/e-cigarettes-re-inventing-smoking/

Published in the categories Smoking, Health