The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently expressed their concerns about electronic cigarettes at a congressional hearing and on their website. In an article entitled “E-cigarettes: Dangerous, Available & Addicting,” the AAP warns parents about the problems with e-cigs, and those problems are many.
Many adults use e-cigs to try to end their smoking habit. E-cigs deliver nicotine through a battery operated device that resembles a cigarette, but without the tobacco or smoke. The e-cigs use water vapor to deliver the nicotine.
You may think that e-cigs are safer than tobacco cigarettes, but you should know that, according to the AAP, an e-cig “can have as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found cancer-causing chemicals in electronic cigarettes.”
This presents a host of dangers.
- Teens, apparently believing that e-cigs are safe, have doubled their use of these devices, bringing the usage to about 1 in 10 high school students. They may be avoiding tobacco, but nicotine is highly addictive.
- The AAP is concerned about some e-cig flavors (e.g., vanilla, chocolate, peach schnapps and gummy bears). In the congressional hearing Dr. Suzanne Tanski answered “yes” when asked if she believed these flavors would be appealing to children.
- Nicotine is a poison. The cartridges that contain nicotine are not childproof, and, says the AAP article, “Most cartridges have 20 milligrams of nicotine, and a dose of as little as 10 milligrams of nicotine can be fatal for a child. In addition, children can easily become hooked on the nicotine.”
- E-cigs are widely available. Even though Kentucky law prohibits their sale to minors under the age of 18, they can be purchased online.
Keep your children away from electronic cigarettes and keep them safe from nicotine addiction or poisoning. If you are trying to quit smoking, nicotine patches or gum are safer alternatives.
© 2014, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved