by Amy Hamilton-Forester, outreach coordinator with FirstHealth Community Health Services
I was pumping gas last week at a popular hot-spot in Richmond County, when I noticed an advertisement on top of the pump. A shiny smooth electronic vapor cigarette in an eye-catching color glistened at me – “Warning: this is not a tobacco cessation product.”
Really? Hundreds of people here in the Sandhills, including health professionals and tobacco users, don’t realize this fact.
E-cigs, vapes, vapor pens or electronic vapor cigarettes (whatever name you choose to call them) are not approved cessation tools. However, I often hear about people who are smoking cigarettes while using an e-device to try and end their habit. Smoking both!?!
We all know habits are hard to break, especially if there are addictive substances attached to those habits. But these aren’t harmful devices, right? We see them on television, magazines and now at the gas pump. Surely the United States wouldn’t allow harmful, addictive devices to be promoted to our families, especially to our children? Think about it. Would a tobacco manufacturer making billions of dollars from your addiction really want you to end your habit?
Abby Ohlheiser with the Washington Post noted the following in her September 2014 article entitled “Big tobacco companies are putting big warning labels on their e-cigarettes:”
Lorillard (Newport) owns BLU. Reynolds America (Camel) owns VUSE. Altria Group (Marlboro) owns Mark-Ten.
“This product is not a smoking cessation product and has not been tested as such. This product is intended for use by persons of legal age or older, and not by children, women who are pregnant or breast feeding, or persons with or at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or taking medicine for depression or asthma. Nicotine is addictive and habit forming, and it is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed. Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea, and stomach pain. Inhalation of this product may aggravate existing respiratory conditions. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients in the cartridges can be poisonous.”
These companies manufacture and advertise these devices to the world; they admit they are not for cessation purposes. Doesn't sound like a reasonable cessation option for most smokers, does it?
If you want to quit your addiction, then work on your quit plan today. E-devices probably aren't the best choice for you or for the people around you who share your second-hand vapor.