Vaping is risky. Why does the FDA approve e-cigarettes?

Vaping is risky.  Why does the FDA approve e-cigarettes?


Than her first Released in the United States in the mid-2000s, “electronic nicotine delivery systems” – e-cigarettes, vapes, e-liquids, and other merchandise containing the stimulant found in tobacco – were hardly subject to federal regulation. Your makers could incorporate myriad other ingredients and flavors. Like cigarettes before them, the devices proved extremely attractive to young people; In 2018, the surgeon general declared vaping an “epidemic” among teenagers, finding that one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes. Nicotine can damage the developing brain, and e-cigarettes contain potentially harmful toxins such as heavy metals. The long-term effects of vaping – the heating of nicotine to create an inhaled aerosol – are uncertain.

Despite these concerns, US public health officials hope that people who are already addicted to nicotine will have a free market choice of e-cigarettes over cigarettes – a deadly consumer product that is so successful in attracting users and to tie that it did so have killed up to 24 million Americans in the past six decades. Because e-cigarettes generally contain fewer toxic chemicals than tobacco smoke, they are considered less harmful than cigarettes. The theory is that if a significant number of every seventh adult in the United States who smokes switched to e-cigarettes, significantly fewer people could suffer from cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration began regulating e-cigarettes as “new tobacco products” to mitigate the potential harm. It became illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 (a limit that rose to 21 nationwide in late 2019) and the agency was empowered to require warnings. The FDA was also empowered to keep products off the market unless it could be demonstrated that their public health benefits outweigh their risks. (Due to legislation passed in 2009, this condition generally applies to new tobacco products; cigarettes themselves and other tobacco products that were on the market before February 15, 2007 do not have to meet the same standard.) Last month, the agency had nearly a million applications declined. But a vaporizer and two tobacco-flavored liquids were approved after the FDA stated that data submitted by their manufacturer showed that they are actually less toxic than cigarettes and, as the agency’s press release says, “addicting adult smokers who switch “Benefit” for these products. “This would” outweigh the risk to the youth “and lead to an overall” protection of public health “.

The decision was controversial. This is partly because research on whether e-products can help adult smokers stay away from cigarettes has shown mixed results at best. For example, in October, the same month as the FDA ruling, JAMA Network Open published a study that “found no evidence that switching to e-cigarettes prevented relapse to cigarette smoking,” says lead author emeritus John P. Pierce Professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California, San Diego. He and his colleagues analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a longitudinal study of tobacco use in the United States started in 2013 by the National Institutes of Health and the FDA. Based on the responses through 2017, the researchers identified 13,604 participants who were cigarette smokers. When the same participants were surveyed a year later, 9.4 percent of them said they had stopped.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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