Electronic Cigarettes or “e-cigs”
Monica Ippolito, MFTI
Electronic Cigarettes or “e-cigs” as the youth are calling them are very popular among middle school & high school students. “e-cigs” are a battery operated device that can look like Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, & Pens. The one that looks like a pen is the most popular kind with youth. E-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco & you don’t need a match or a lighter to use it. Instead, there’s a mechanism that heats up liquid nicotine, flavoring, & other ingredients which turns into a vapor that smokers inhale and exhale. Users will put it to their mouths like a regular cigarette a LED light is illuminated at the other end when it is being used. Some of the flavors that the “e-cigs” come in are cherry, strawberry, banana, chocolate, and cookies & cream milkshake just to name a few.
Since there is no tobacco in an “e-cig” youth think they are being safe. Being that there is no tobacco in an “e-cig” also means that it does not fall under the same U.S. tobacco laws which indicate that they can be purchased without proof of age, especially online. According to a spokesman for the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, the e-cigarette industry’s trade group, said, “We encourage responsible marketing directed to those over the age of 18,” and added it “does not support, and our industry does not use, youth-oriented product marketing.” Congress is pushing for the FDA to regulate electronic cigarettes. The side effects of inhaling pure nicotine have yet to be adequately studied, and are therefore unknown. Another concern is about quality control, asserting that some manufacturers may not adequately disclose all the chemical ingredients in their e-cigarettes, and that the amount of nicotine listed on a cartridge label may not match the actual amount in the cartridge.
Where can your teens buy these “e-cigs”? Online there are multiple website that sell them. The can also be purchased at a gas station, liquor stores, 7-11, & some major retail chains as well. Talk to your teen about the harmful effects that “e-cigs” have today & help stop your teen from becoming a smoker.
Cassidy, Susan. “10 Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes” Jan. 10, 2011 http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm/printable
Tavernise, Sabrina. “E-Cigarettes are targeted at youth, report says” April 14, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/health/e-cigarette-makers-targeting-youth-congressional-report-says.html?_r=0