Tobacco Free Nebraska for a great state of health

                     Tobacco Free Nebraska

Electronic Cigarettes

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Just a few short years ago, e-cigarettes – or e-cigs – were found mostly on the Internet or at shopping mall kiosks. While they’re still available that way, there are now many stores across the country – and in Nebraska – that exclusively sell the devices and flavor cartridges.
 
Many e-cigarettes are designed to look like a filtered traditional cigarette. Typically, they have three components:
  1. A cartridge or reservoir that contains a solution made of nicotine and other ingredients and flavorings,
  2. a heating element (atomizer) that vaporizes the solution, and
  3. a battery.
When the user puffs on the e-cigarette, the heating element vaporizes the solution and the resulting mist is taken into the lungs. Using an e-cigarette is commonly referred to as 'vaping.'
E-cigarettes are one of an array of devices that can deliver nicotine. Other devices include vape pens, e-hookahs, hookah pens, e-cigars, and more. Tank systems are generally larger e-cigarettes that can hold more solution and are oftentimes heated to a higher temperature.
 
The sky’s the limit in terms of cartridge flavors … with fruit and liqueur flavors common and even seasonal flavors available. The cartridges come in a variety of nicotine strengths ranging from zero to 24 mg and can be the equivalent of several traditional cigarettes.
 
It’s important to be aware that the fatal dose of nicotine in adults is estimated at 30–60 mg; for children it’s estimated at only 10 mg. Poisoning related to the nicotine in e-cigarette solutions can occur by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin.
 
In 2013, the Nebraska Regional Poison Center received 52 calls on e-cigarettes – up from 5 in 2012. Many of the calls were related to children under 5-years-old.  Young children have been known to drink e-cigarette solutions – especially those with fruity or candy flavors and aromas. As a result, it’s vital to keep cartridges away from young children. The toxic effects of nicotine range from vomiting, nausea, lethargy, gagging, and a pale or flushed appearance to depressed respiration, cardiac arrhythmia, and convulsions.
 
Many manufacturers and marketers claim that e-cigarettes contain none of the harmful additives found in traditional cigarettes. Yet they do contain nicotine which is highly addictive and the drug that makes it so difficult to quit using conventional tobacco products. Click here to learn more about nicotine. It’s also worth noting that tank systems – that use higher voltages to heat solutions to higher temperatures – can produce vapors with levels of formaldehyde similar to the levels reported in tobacco smoke. Formaldehyde is used to preserve dead bodies, wood and fabric.
 
Many claim that e-cigarettes can help you quit traditional cigarette smoking altogether. However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes promote successful long-term quitting.
 
The flavors and novelty of e-cigarettes may also be popular with children and teens, encouraging them to take up smoking. In fact, recent findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that the percentage of middle and high school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette doubled in just one year – from 2011 to 2012. Altogether in 2012, more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes.
 
E-cigarettes are not yet regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, product design, availability and use vary widely. However, in April 2014, a proposed rule was issued to extend the FDA’s authority to cover additional products that meet the legal definition of a tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Once the rule goes into effect, e-cigarettes will be subject to regulatory oversight that – among other things – will stop the unsubstantiated claims that some e-cigarette manufacturers and marketers make.
 
It’s also important to know that during the 2014 legislative session, the Nebraska Unicameral passed a law that made it illegal to sell vapor products to minors younger than 18 in the state. For more information on the law, click here.
 
In Nebraska, the Smoke-Free Air Law doesn’t prohibit e-cigarettes since they are not ‘lit.’ As a result, they could be used indoors; however, it may be in the best interest of a business (especially bars) to prohibit their use because their appearance is so similar to conventional cigarettes which could cause confusion about whether or not the business is following the law.
 
The only way to realize the health benefits of a tobacco and nicotine free life, is to quit ALL tobacco products – lit and unlit alike. The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline can help. The free & confidential Quitline is available 24/7 at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
 
 

For more information, contact:
Tobacco Free Nebraska
P.O. Box 95026
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026
Phone: (402) 471-2101
E-mail: TFN Info