E-cigarette fact check
There has been much information in the news recently about the importance of good chemical health. While e-cigarette use has gone up across the country in the last year, we are encouraged that family relationships can positively impact the choices a teenager makes in life and can largely influence a student’s identity, professional capability and vision of themselves in the future.
There has been a lot of misleading information about e-cigarette use. Many popular articles and advertisements have stated that e-cigarettes contain only nicotine and water vapor, but researchers have found some disturbing new information about chemicals that are formed during the vape process and how they impact the body.
According to the 2016 Surgeon General Report, e-cigarettes have some very negative health consequences that are not yet fully understood. Updated vape devices have enabled a user to inhale nicotine at a variety of levels, bringing the chances for addiction to new levels earlier in the stages of use (Kosmider, 2014). Studies have also found that the heating elements in e-cigarette containers have the capability to break down contents found in aerosol that will cause tissue damage in animals, including DNA damage and cell deterioration (Canistro, 2017). Much of the research is preliminary as e-cigarette use is a new activity and the longterm impact is unknown.
Research literature suggests that e-cigarettes seem to attract underage users because they have sweet flavors and technologically advanced devices that are hard to detect and easy to obtain (Kosmider, 2014). Researchers argue that teens who try it not been knowledgeable about the risk of use. Researchers have also found that teenagers who experiment with e-cigarettes are more likely to experiment with cigarettes and other chemicals later in life (Doran, 2017).
Those who have struggled with an addiction or know someone who may struggle have a variety of resources available:
- Speaking to a physician or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC) and taking a chemical health pre-screen is always a helpful tool to determine if further assessment is needed.
- There are resources through Anoka County that have also been helpful to families, including 24-hour crisis intervention services, Children and adult chemical health information services, and a rule 25 assessment application. For more information about chemical health services in Anoka County, please call 763-324-1270.
- For information about supportive services to maintain sobriety, please consult the local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) website (voluntary contributions accepted but not required). Nonalcoholics may attend open meetings, but closed meetings are for those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings.
- For those with a close relative or friend who has struggled with addiction, please consult the Al-Anon or Alateen websites (voluntary contributions accepted but not required).
- Open Speaker meetings are open to all who are interested in hearing the stories of AA and/or Al-Anon members about how the meetings have changed their lives. Please contact your local AA program for more information.
- Canistro, D., F. Vivarelli, S. Cirillo, C. Babot Marquillas, A. Buschini, M. Lazzaretti, L. Marchi, V. Cardenia, M. T. Rodriguez-Estrada, M. Lodovici, C. Cipriani, A. Lorenzini, E. Croco, S. Marchionni, P. Franchi, M. Lucarini, V. Longo, C. M. Della Croce, A. Vornoli, A. Colacci, M. Vaccari, A. Sapone, and M. Paolini. 2017. E-cigarettes induce toxicological effects that can raise the cancer risk. Scientific Reports, 7(1):2028.
- Doran, N., Brikmanis, K., Petersen, A., Delucchi, K., Al-Delaimy, W., Luczak, S., Myers, M., Strong, D. 2017. Does e-cigarette use predict cigarette escalation? A longitudinal study of young adult non-daily smokers. Preventive Medicine, 100:279-284.
- Kosmider, L., A. Sobczak, M. Fik, J. Knysak, M. Zaciera, J. Kurek, and M. L. Goniewicz. 2014. Carbonyl compounds in electronic cigarette vapors: Effects of nicotine solvent and battery output voltage. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16(10):1319–1326.
- US Department of health and Human Services (2016). E-Cigarette use Among youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Text can be found: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents