HealthConcerns on Electronic Cigarettes in America
HealthConcerns on Electronic Cigarettes in America
Today,e-cigarettes have become increasingly common in the market,necessitating policymakers to raise alarms on the intensifiedutilization. Rahman, Hann, Wilson, and Worrall-Carter (2014) definethe products as “Battery-powered cigarette-shaped devices thatvaporize a liquid solution which is inhaled orally to deliver a doseof nicotine to the user” (12). This means that a smoker does notignite tobacco leaves thus, producers claim that the smoke releasedduring intake is free of the carcinogens and toxins present incigarettes (Rahman et al., 2014). It is significant to note thatthere lacks an extensive evidence on the safety, usefulness, ordangers of the products. Schoenborn and Gindi (2015) reveal thatcurrently, roughly 3.7% American adults use e-cigarette products.Moreover, 12.6% Americans have ever tried the substance, whichillustrates the significance of comprehending the magnitude ofsmoking across the nation (Schoenborn & Gindi, 2015). Althoughthe products could play an imperative function in limiting the harmof tobacco, the health community differs regarding the suitability ofapproving a substance whose effectiveness and welfare for smokingtermination remain vague. In this regard, the paper illustrates thepresent public health concerns raised on the increasing use ofe-cigarette hence, the need to regulate the product.
Thisconsumer good is yet to acquire FDA approval as much as there is aconsistent increase in popularity not only among individualsattempting to eliminate the smoking habit but among teens and youngadults (Fairchild, Bayer, & Colgrove, 2014). The product is saidto compel a tobacco user’s brain to experience physical sensationsas well as acquire nicotine normally craved for. Franck, Filion,Kimmelman, Grad, and Eisenberg (2016) assert that the substancescontain a mixture of propylene with or minus nicotine, which isdispelled upon inhalation by the consumer. This means that in theintake of e-cigarettes, combustion does not occur. The sole aim ofpreference of e-cigarettes over conventional tobacco products is thatthe new product is devoid of the numerous chemicals consistent inregular cigarette smoke (Franck et al., 2016). Therefore,manufacturers market and sell e-cigarettes as nicotine replacementproducts, as they claim the substances exhibit lesser side effects.
Asan unregulated product, it is nigh impossible to quantify perceivedbenefits and highlight risks as scientific scrutiny requiresextensive trials to certify beneficial attributes of the product. Itis very unfortunate that those using e-cigarettes as a form ofnicotine replacement therapy are in most cases unaware that its NRTstatus is uncertain and the product, highly experimental (Marshall,Lotfipour, & Chakravarthy, 2016). The swelling e-cigaretteconsumption has provoked the need for greater deliberations on thebudding science, regulatory approaches, and increasing public healthconcerns. E-cigarettes were initially considered a less injuriousalternative to the conventional tobacco products. Multiple figureshave raised a red flag over the increasing figures of young adultsand more surprisingly teens using e-cigarettes (Youth & U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, 2016).
Functionalityof the Substance
E-cigarettesare an avenue for delivering untainted nicotine without thecarcinogens and harmful chemicals common in regular tobacco products.As such, the nicotine used therein is of a synthetic nature (Marshallet al., 2016). In e-cigarettes, liquefied nicotine is enclosed in alittle cylinder connected to a heating element. The miniaturecylinder is linked to an electronic battery which enables thee-cigarette to be activated one air is inhaled. The resultant outcomeinvolves a tiny liquid nicotine drop being vaporized by the generatedheat and inhaled into the user’s lungs (Marshall et al., 2016). Theinhaled vapor not only constitutes the nicotine demanded by the brainbut the highly sought after throat hit. The throat hit has made itthe most preferred form of NRT.
BurgeoningPublic Health Concern in the U.S. Today
Thereare numerous e-cigarettes devices marketed throughout the U.S. as asafer way for nicotine delivery, flavorings as well as a host ofother derivatives even marijuana via the inhaled aerosol (Villanti etal., 2016). The worrying fact is that the youth, more so teens andyoung adults perceive the products as popular and trendy as much asthere exists limited scientific evidence appraising safety concerns.America’s youthful populations label e-cigarettes as ‘e-hookah’s’,‘e-cigs’, ‘vapes’, ‘vape pens’, ‘tank systems’ and‘mods’ (Villanti et al., 2016).
Scientistsare currently continuing with rigorous endeavors with the aim ofcomprehensively gaining insights as to how this product impacts onpublic health outcomes. However, it is critical to point out that atpresent, the evidence currently held as true offered solidjustifications supporting concerted efforts against e-cigarette useamong America’s young population demographics (Villanti et al.,2016). For instance, it is a well-known fact that nicotine is a veryharmful product to teens as well as young adults as exposure in mostcases results in addiction (Villanti et al., 2016). The vaporproduced, therefore, contains an addictive substance known to inhibithealthy brain development. Given that adolescence is an age wheremost people become addicted to tobacco products, there appears thevery high likelihood that the product is exposing America’s youngpopulations to lifetimes of undeserved nicotine addiction.
Themost favored tobacco form today is the e-cigarette though it iscommon to encounter the youth aged from 18 to 25 years usingtraditional cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes. Research studies havegiven credible indications that this demographic group in Americabegins use of e-cigarettes simply from taste, and curiosity (Villantiet al., 2016). The marketed notion as to the less harm associatedwith the product in comparison to traditional tobacco products hasalso added to its appeal to the young. Marketed flavorings haveessentially attracted young adults to e-cigarettes. For instance, 90%of users among America’s youthful populations provide that theinclination to use these harmful products is championed by theuniqueness of employed tasteful flavors like chocolate, fruit, candy,menthol, and even alcohol (Villanti et al., 2016). 80% of e-cigaretteusers aged between 12 and 17 prefer to experience flavorede-cigarettes (Villanti et al., 2016). Currently, scientists have notfound plausible evidence on the adverse implications of thesubstance. However, Franck et al. (2016) assert that the productslead to a dry mouth, cough, nausea, and headache. The main ingredientof the e-cigarette is propylene glycol and numerous explorations haverevealed that the product can cause upper and ophthalmic airwayirritation, which raises concerns on people with lung diseases.
ChallengesExperienced in Sanctioning the Usage of E-Cigarettes
Oneof the most significant challenges towards adequately combatinge-cigarettes as a public health issue in America is that it is a2.5-billion-dollar industry (Yeh et al., 2016). By 2014, this tobaccoindustry sector saw manufacturers commit over 125 million dollarsannually for e-cigarette marketing and advertising. More so, theadvertisers opted to target the country’s youthful populace withthe preferred content targeting adolescent and young adult sexualityinsecurities as well as the issue of customer satisfaction. The truthof the matter is that the advertising and target marketing techniquesfor age sensitive products such as the regular cigarettes have thenegative potential of leading youthful demographics to tobaccoaddiction. Therefore, it is greatly problematic that e-cigarettesadvertisements and marketing promotions are looking to appeal to thepopulations below 21 years. Scientific evidence suggests that theexposing this age-set to e-cigarette marketing campaigns andadvertisements presents the high likelihood of exposing the youth toe-cigarette use (Yeh et al., 2016). It is imperative to note thatyouth not exposed to such advertisements indicate a very low affinityfor the product.
Anotherarising issue is that as much as the product has indeed attracted theFDA’s attention, it remains officially unregulated. In 2014, theFDA offered proposals requiring all e-cigarette manufacturers toensure full disclosure of all e-cigarette constituent ingredients andas such, only products with agency approval could be marketed (Yeh etal., 2016). Federal as well as state agencies have highlighted thenotion that there are still no credible extended studies one-cigarettes, user impacts, impact of artificial nicotine and theside effects of the compound, propylene glycol.
Suggestionson the Regulations Required
Policymakersexpect the substance may soon come under the required governmentregulation since the FDA has been actively pushing independentresearch on e-cigarettes as well as evaluating existing data. It iscritical for the government to cap age restrictions at 18 years andmore preferably 21 years to limit the usage of the substance forrecreational purposes (Yeh et al., 2016). Moreover, bureau standardsneed to establish the mechanisms that will ensure all people ormanufacturers align the dosage of the nicotine dispensed to what theproducer has stated on the packaging. Franck et al. (2016) posit thatapart from a dry cough, mouth irritation, nausea, and headache,little evidence exists on the adverse dangers of e-cigarettes.However, it is imperative for industrialists to prominently label allthe risk factors and associated hazards on e-cigarette packaging. Thegovernment should subject the industry to the same advertisements’regulations that govern the conventional tobacco sector as well asrestrict vending machine ales, free samples, online sales, andflavors offered.
Thereview of the available literature and information has illustratedpredominant areas of interest, for example, health concerns,regulatory frameworks, patterns of usage, functionality, and theefficacy of smoking hindrance. Moreover, the resources assessed haverevealed that there exists little and insignificant evidence orexploration on the long-term and harmfulness implications of theproducts. However, as some studies have shown in the discussion, theproducts have the potential of making important public health gainsin reducing the harm advanced by tobacco use. The market for thesubstance continues to develop, particularly driven by people whoclaim to utilize the product to diminish or abandon smoking. Mostindividuals who consume the products do so for smoking cessationpurposes, but the exponential increase of the e-cigarettes that hasovertaken the elaboration of an ethical agenda to establish suitablestructures for their use and obtainability shows the need to provideregulatory frameworks. Irrefutably, as much as e-cigarettes do indeedenable mature tobacco users to eliminate tobacco dependence, there isthe unfortunate fact that capitalists are looking to exploit theAmerican society’s younger populations by extension appraisingtheir exposure to addiction. With this regard, e-cigarettes remain apotent public health issue with America.
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