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 storefronts across the country – and in Nebraska – that exclusively sell the devices and flavor cartridges.
E-cigarettes are designed to look very much like a filtered traditional cigarette. They consist of a cartridge containing nicotine and water, a heating element and a battery. When the user puffs on the e-cigarette, the heating element vaporizes the water and nicotine and the mist is taken into the lungs. Using an e-cigarette is commonly referred to as 'vaping.'
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.
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.)
Many also 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), although the FDA
has announced its intention to extend its jurisdiction over tobacco products to include e-cigarettes.
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.
|For more information, contact:|
Tobacco Free Nebraska
P.O. Box 95026
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026
Phone: (402) 471-2101
E-mail: TFN Info