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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CDC Director Speaks Against E Cigarettes

English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Contr...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director (CDC), Dr. Tom Frieden says that E-cigarettes are as dangerous as regular cigarettes, The Los Angeles Times reports. Frieden believes that E-cigarettes will get a new generation of young people smoking. He is worried that e-cigarettes will re-glamorize smoking. What’s more, the devices can be used to consume other, more dangerous drugs, according to Frieden.

Among his many concerns, Frieden thinks that E-cigarettes can give smokers who would have quit an alternative, allowing them to get their nicotine without traditional forms of tobacco. He believes ex-smokers may go back on nicotine through E-cigarettes, and then back to cigarettes.

“I’ve treated so many adults who are desperate — desperate — to get off tobacco. They all started as kids,” Frieden said. “I see the industry getting another generation of our kids addicted. To me, as a physician, when 1.78 million of our high school kids have tried an e-cigarette and a lot of them are using them regularly … that’s like watching someone harm hundreds of thousands of children.”

However, Frieden conceded that, “Stick to stick, they’re almost certainly less toxic than cigarettes.” Acknowledging that E-cigarettes have given a number of people a tool that has helped them quit traditional tobacco.

The Food and Drug Administration has been slow in forming rules for E-cigarette oversight, but thanks to a government report the ball is finally rolling; they have finally announced new rules for regulating E-cigarettes in the same way as normal cigarettes. The proposed rules would ban the sale of E-cigarettes to anyone under age 18. The FDA has yet to ban flavoring in E-cigarettes, despite health advocates claims that flavors entice children to try the products. The FDA said it will address flavoring and marketing later on.

Frieden believes that more studies about e-cigarettes’ role in smoking cessation are needed.
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