Purple, black, blue, shimmery orange and hot pink – you can choose the most fashionable style of e-cigarette at any of the 10 different local shops here in Long Beach or some 200 shops nation-wide.
You can choose, but you really shouldn’t because new scientific studies indicate that these “cancer-free cigarettes” aren’t free of cancer at all.
“E-cigarettes represent a new public health challenge and threaten to undo and reverse the progress we’ve made by renormalizing smoking behavior,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, health officer and director of the California Public Health Department, according to the SF Gate. He said they also contain another 10 chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive problems.
The aerosol produced by vaporizers can have up to 15-times more carcinogenic formaldehyde than regular cigarettes, according to a peer-reviewed study in the New England Journal of Medicine last month.
The Department of Public Health has said that young people and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the e-cigarettes, the ads for which often falsely claim that they are safe, that they help people quit smoking and that they do not cause cancer.
At least 10 percent of U.S. high school students use a vaporizer, according to a report by the CDC in 2012.
The e-cigarettes are colorfully attractive and technologically forward with their USB cord chargers that hook up to any laptop computer. The Food and Drug Administration should never have allowed these cigarette alternatives to flood our markets without regulations.
The assortment of available flavors sound like candy instead of cancer. “Java jolt,” “piña colada,” “magnificent menthol,” “cherry crush” and “vivid vanilla” are just a few of the flavor choices that Blu, a popular e-cigarette company, offers.
If the consumer is under the age of 18, he or she can still order anything from the Blu website simply by clicking the button that says the user is 18 or older, as no additional proof is required.
According to the CDC in April 2014, most states do not regulate the sale of e-cigarette products, and if they do not claim to be therapeutic, the FDA doesn’t regulate them at all.
Rather than help people quit, vaporizers spawn a new generation of smokers who – like young people in the ‘60s – are unaware of the damages they are doing to their bodies.
Two weeks ago, the California Department of Public Health issued a public health warning to residents and urged legislators to start regulating the e-cigarette industry.
California residents should help the Department of Public Health convince the government to impose the long-overdue regulations, since thus far, officials have been so slow to act.
For CSULB students who want to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies, and who want to stop their children or little brothers and sisters from making bad decisions, at least until their brains are fully formed, be sure to let your government know.
Contact Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell on his website: https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD70.
Contact Senator Ricardo Lara at his office by calling 916-651-4033.