E-cigarettes - New Ploy, Same Cancer

E-cigarettes are all the rage now. I have to tell you though, smoking still isn't cool. You see people holding these "neat" looking little "crack pipes," although presumably smoking legal stuff. But I just don't see how there isn't an outcry about this obvious ploy to hook more people on smoking. Sure, there are fewer carcinogens with E-cigarettes then with the traditional forms of tobacco usage. But carcinogens remain nevertheless. There are catchy names designed for maximal marketing as well. Names like bubble gum and cotton candy. I don't understand how this obvious a marketing ploy is permitted. Obviously it's not illegal, but they should be the same kind of negative press on this as there has been on smoking in general for decades.

Here's a bit more on the subject, as reported by the AMA daily email:

CDC: Teen smoking down but use of cigars, e-cigarettes up. The Wall Street Journal (11/14, Esterl, Subscription Publication, 5.91M) is part of the group of US national media outlets reporting on new findings from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were published yesterday. Though the CDC revealed that cigarette use among minors in the US is dropping over last year, the use of alternative tobacco products, such as miniature cigars, electronic cigarettes, and hookah, has risen. The Wall Street Journal focuses on the first of that group, cigarillos and little cigars, as being the second most used tobacco product among teenagers. Virtually every other source reporting paid more attention to the CDC’s findings regarding hookahs and e-cigarettes in particular, with USA Today (11/15, Koch, 5.82M) saying that the CDC’s 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey among middle- and high-school students in the US “found a notable increase” in the number of respondents saying they have used hookahs and e-cigarettes, “both of which aren’t federally regulated and taxed as are cigarettes.” On its website, NBC News (11/15, Aleccia, 6.79M) reports that the CDC report said, “The increase in use of electronic cigarettes and hookah tobacco could be attributed to low price, an increase in marketing, availability and visibility of these products, and the perception that these products might be ‘safer’ alternatives to cigarettes.” The article clarifies that even if the number of middle-school and high-school students using e-cigarettes is “a tiny proportion of kids,” the rate of minors who have used the devices “in the past 30 days jumped more than 83 percent among middle-school youth and 86 percent among high-schoolers between 2011 and 2012.” The Time (11/15, Nicks, 13.4M) “Healthland” blog notes that the US Food and Drug Administration is considering increased regulation on products like e-cigarettes and little cigars, although there is little to report besides the agency’s intentions to act. The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, in a special blog post for the website of the Huffington Post (11/15, 11.54M), singles out “the use of emerging tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and hookahs” as the problem, given the fact that their use among teenagers is going up while “there’s been no change in cigarette use.” Frieden ends up directing most of his focus on the fact that “kids are the primary target” of the other group of “new products,” that is, miniature cigars.

Paul Dorio