A new AAP Policy shows e-cigarettes might be harmful to their users. Pediatricians from all around the country should start counseling families on the possible health risks of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). These include electronic cigarettes which have been very successful in the last few years.
ENDS are easy to use devices which usually produce an aerosol from a solution which generally contains nicotine, propylene glycol and various flavoring chemicals. Among ENDS products you can find e-cigs, vaping devices, e-hookahs, vape pens and other various mechanical mods.
The people from the AAP are worried that statistics from 2014 show that more and more teenagers are using ENDS rather than using any other tobacco product. This is why they are asking pediatricians to ask families about the usage of ENDS when they are screening them for tobacco usage. They are advising doctors to counsel people on the following:
- They could be harmful for users. Besides the nicotine fix that they give, ENDS apparently also contain a lot of toxicants and carcinogens which are harmful for humans. While we already know that nicotine is very addictive and also a toxicant, new research proves that these devices aren’t safe from the standard dangers of smoking. They might also lead teenagers to start smoking regular cigarettes after they become addicted to nicotine.
- Non-users might also be exposed. The secondhand aerosols coming from ENDS also contain metal, silicate particles, nicotine, carcinogens and toxicants. This means that they might be harmful even to people who are not actually smoking from these devices.
- Unintentional overdose. The solutions that you will typically find in ENDS will sometimes contain very concentrated nicotine. This could be potentially lethal when it is ingested in even the smallest of quantities. The number of calls to poison control centers due to ENDS exposure have been increasing and one child died after he ingested a very concentrated nicotine solution.
- Bringing smoking back to the mainstream. The increased usage of ENDS might also make tobacco products increasingly more popular with the public. More and more youth and adults are picking up this habit after which they end up being addicted to nicotine.
While they are not saying that ENDS are just as dangerous as regular cigarettes, there is clear evidence which shows that these devices can lead to a variety of problems after prolonged usage.
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