Press release from the United States Government Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Apr 3, 2014
CDC study finds increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers
The number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids
containing nicotine rose from one per month in Sept 2010 to 215
per month in Feb 2014, according to a CDC study published in
today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time.
More than half (51.1%) of the calls to poison centers due to
e-cigarettes involved young children under age 5, and about 42%
of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.
The analysis compared total monthly poison center calls involving
e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes, and found the proportion of
e-cigarette calls jumped from 0.3 percent in September 2010 to 41.7% in February 2014. Poisoning from conventional cigarettes is
generally due to young children eating them. Poisoning related to
e-cigarettes involves the liquid containing nicotine used in the
devices and can occur in three ways: by ingestion, inhalation or
absorption through the skin or eyes.
E-cigarette calls were more likely than cigarette calls to include a
report of an adverse health effect following exposure. The most common
adverse health effects mentioned in e-cigarette calls were vomiting,
nausea and eye irritation.
Data for this study came from the poison centers that serve the 50
states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. The study
examined all calls reporting exposure to conventional cigarettes,
e-cigarettes, or nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes. Poison centers
reported 2,405 e-cigarette and 16,248 cigarette exposure calls from
September 2010 to February 2014. The total number of poisoning cases is
likely higher than reflected in this study, because not all exposures
might have been reported to poison centers.
Developing strategies to monitor and prevent future poisonings is
critical given the rapid increase in e-cigarette related poisonings.
The report shows that e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine have the
potential to cause immediate adverse health effects and represent an
emerging public health concern.
Cigarette smoking is a disease. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2013 v7n2 p0907
I occasionally smoked when I was working on my PhD in the lab. Around me were toxic chemicals such as arsenic and cyanide and the toxic gas carbon monoxide. I only smoked in the lab in the still of the late evening and early morning.
But not for long. I saw 2 pictures side by side of lungs from dead people: the smoker's lung was black, the non-smoker's lung was pink. That confirmed for me that not smoking was smart, in the elevator with my bicycle to the 3rd floor of the Wallace Wurth School of Medicine that morning I had been calculating the cost of smoking a packet a day for a whole year, and realized that I could buy a ticket to America with the money. Which is what I did a year later.
I saw my first e-cigarette in Brooklyn Borough Hall in August, we were celebrating 28 years of existence of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which took me in 4 years ago and for which I am the "Philadelphia-Australia" connection. I once spoke to a CACCI gathering and told them that I come from a small island in the Caribbean, called Australia.
Australia has a lot in common with many of the countries of the Caribbean: an island, colonized by the British Empire whose representatives happily genocided indigenous, agricultural products such as tobacco and sugar grown by forced labor. Although the forced labor in Australia, who were prisoners shipped from England, were not owned by landowners.
Parenthetically, I wonder why anyone from the Caribbean or the southern United States today has anythng to do with tobacco, or with sugar. I wish all sons and daughters of Africa would boycott both, and then they would not be dying now from lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease or diabetes.
I have on this page 2 press releases with markedly different messages. The US has not been able to regulate e-cigarettes as a drug-delivery device, which it clearly is, because of the historical legality of tobacco products. The US Food and Drug Administration has taken manufacturers to court, and lost. E-cigarettes, through which kids are not only inhaling nicotine but diethylene glycol, can be only be regulated in the United States through an act of Congress declaring cigarette smoking a disease and outlawing inhaled tobacco.
Diethylene glycol is a solvent, I used it in the lab when I needed to dissolve drugs. It was used by a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the 1930s to dissolve a drug for flu treatment, and when scores of children died on taking the medicine, the US laws were changed so that drugs had to be proven safe to the government before they can be administered. Diethylene glycol click here.
I call on Congress to do something.
Press release from United States Government Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Sep 5, 2013
E-cigarette use more than doubles among US middle and high school students from 2011-2012
More than 75% of youth users smoke conventional cigarettes too
The percentage of US middle and high school students who
use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, more than doubled from 2011
to 2012, according to data published by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
The findings from the National Youth
Tobacco Survey, in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, show
that the percentage of high school students who reported ever using an
e-cigarette rose from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10.0 percent in 2012. In
the same time period, high school students using e-cigarettes within
the past 30 days rose from 1.5% to 2.8%. Use also
doubled among middle school students.
Altogether, in 2012 more than
1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried
The study also found that 76.3% of
middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes within the past
30 days also smoked conventional cigarettes in the same period. In
addition, 1 in 5 middle school students who reported ever using
e-cigarettes say they have never tried conventional cigarettes.
raises concern that there may be young people for whom e-cigarettes
could be an entry point to conventional tobacco products,
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes,
are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other
additives to the user in an aerosol. E-cigarettes not marketed for
therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the Food and Drug
The FDA Center for Tobacco Products has announced that it intends to expand its jurisdiction over tobacco
products to include e-cigarettes, but has not yet issued regulatory
rules. Because e-cigarettes are largely unregulated, the agency does
not have good information about them, such as the amounts and types of
components and potentially harmful constituents.
Although some e-cigarettes have been
marketed as smoking cessation aids, there is no conclusive scientific
evidence that e-cigarettes promote successful long-term quitting.
However, there are proven cessation strategies and treatments,
including counseling and FDA-approved cessation medications.
Cigarette smoking remains the leading
preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the
United States, responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year.
And for every death, 20 people are living with a
To quit smoking, free help is available at
1-800-QUIT NOW or www.cdc.gov/tips.
Under the Affordable Care Act, more
Americans than ever will qualify to get health care coverage that fits
their needs and budget, including important preventive services such as
services to quit smoking that are covered with no additional costs.
Press release from UK MHRA June 13, 2013
UK moves towards safe and effective electronic cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products
All nicotine-containing products (NCPs), such as electronic
cigarettes, are to be regulated as medicines in a move to make these
products safer and more effective to reduce the harms of smoking.
The UK Government has decided that the Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will regulate all NCPs as medicines so
that people using these products have the confidence that they are
safe, are of the right quality and work.
Smoking is the biggest single cause of avoidable death - killing
80,000 people in England each year. Making safe and effective products
available for people who smoke can help them cut down or quit.
Today’s announcement follows a public consultation on how to regulate
these products which demonstrated widespread support for medicines
regulation from the public health community. Scientific and market
research into their safety and quality, including how they are used, has
underpinned this decision.
People should use licensed NCPs – gums, patches, mouth sprays etc – to reduce the harms of smoking.
Recent public health guidance published by the National Institute for
Health and Care Excellence (NICE) supports the use of licensed nicotine
products in helping people to cut down or stop smoking.
The quality of NCPs can vary considerably which is why licensing them
as medicines will allow people to have the confidence that they are
safe, are of the right quality and work.
The UK Government will press for EU law to create a Europe-wide legal
position on NCPs as medicines through the revision of the Tobacco
Products Directive. The European Commission has said it expects the new
legislation to be adopted in 2014 and for it to come into effect in the
UK from 2016. From that point, all NCPs will require a medicine
licence. This will allow time for manufacturers to ensure that their
products meet the safety, quality and efficacy requirements of a
medicine. Until that law is in place, the MHRA would encourage those
manufacturers with unlicensed products currently on the market to apply
for a medicine licence.