Know the Facts on Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping

A Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition Position Paper


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to educate the community and our partners about the most up-to-date research on electronic cigarettes & Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). It is Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition’s position that the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is harmful.

 The FDA does not regulate electronic cigarettes.

  • FDA studies have determined that some electronic cigarette and vaping cartridges labeled as “no nicotine” contain low to very high levels of nicotine; and three different cartridges with the same label emitted a markedly different amount of nicotine with each puff[1].

Electronic cigarettes expose users and non-users to poisonous chemicals.

  • Nicotine is a poison. Electronic cigarettes do not contain the same type of nicotine you might find in an ordinary tobacco leaf or FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies. They contain liquid nicotine, which can be lethal in small amounts: a tablespoon of some e-liquids on the market would be enough to kill an adult;half a teaspoon could kill a child[2].
  • A person does not need to ingest these liquids to end up in hospital. Skin contact with concentrated liquid nicotine is enough to causesymptoms of poisoning, such as dizziness, elevated blood pressure and seizures3.
  • The number of calls to poison control centers involving electronic cigarette devices and liquid nicotine reported exposures rose from 12 total in 2010 to 3,783 in 2014[3].
  • Other health effects caused by repeated nicotine exposure include: dizziness, headache, nervousness, and fast or irregular heartbeat[4].
  • Exhaled electronic cigarette vapor has been found to contain nicotine and several carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, lead, nickel, and chromium, causing exposure to anyone in the vicinity[5].
  • In Wichita, several retailers and vape lounges mix their own liquid solutions; there is no way to be sure what chemicals are in these homemade solutions or if they are safe for consumption. 

Electronic cigarettes are not proven effective for tobacco cessation.

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recently concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to recommend electronic nicotine delivery systems for tobacco cessation in adults, including pregnant women. AAFP recommends that clinicians direct patients who smoke tobacco to other FDA-approved cessation interventions with established effectiveness and safety.[6]
  • Further, AAFP encourages all members to screen for electronic cigarette use in all age groups, to discuss the potential harms of electronic cigarette use, and to recommend evidence-based smoking cessation interventions with electronic cigarette users[7].
  • A 2014 study of Kansas electronic cigarette users found that the vast majority of electronic cigarette users also smoke cigarettes[8].

 Worksites should include electronic cigarettes in tobacco free policies.

  • A report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that all workplaces become tobacco-free and include e-cigarettes, as well as make tobacco cessation programs available, to protect workers from the occupational hazards of tobacco and the effects of secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke and emissions from e-cigarettes[9].

 E-cigarettes and youth

  • Use among middle and high school students has tripled from 2013-2014[10].2014_12_17_cdc_e-cigarette_infographic
  • Over 20% of middle school students who used electronic cigarettes had never smoked traditional cigarettes;
    thus creating a new nicotine user[11].
  • Electronic cigarette companies (a.k.a Big Tobacco) target their products to young people with celebrities and candy-like flavors.
  • The AAFP also recommends that the marketing and advertising of e-cigarettes to children and youth should cease immediately until e-cigarettes’ safety, toxicity, and efficacy are established[12].
  • Kansas Law: (KSA 79-3321) It shall be unlawful for any person:
    • to sell, furnish or distribute cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products to any person under 18 years of age.
    • who is under 18 years of age to purchase or attempt to purchase cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products.
    • who is under 18 years of age to possess or attempt to possess cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products.

To download a copy of TFW’s Position Paper, click HERE















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