New US surgeon general says there’s ‘desperate need of clarity’ on electronic cigarettes

From: AP via StarTribune

Article by: MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Public health officials are “in desperate need of clarity” on electronic cigarettes to help guide policies, the nation’s newly appointed surgeon general said Tuesday.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, whose predecessors have been instrumental in guiding tobacco control, addressed the battery-powered devices that heat liquid nicotine during a stop in Richmond as part of a cross-country listening tour. The U.S. Senate confirmed the 37-year-old physician and Harvard Medical School instructor’s nomination as the country’s senior public health official in December.

Will the F.D.A. Kill Off E-Cigs?

From: New York Times | Op-Ed


WASHINGTON — ELECTRONIC cigarettes, battery-powered devices that convert a solution of nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor that can be inhaled, or “vaped,” have the potential to wean a vast number of smokers off cigarettes. No burned tobacco leaves, no cancer-causing tar: a public health revolution in waiting.

The problem is, not enough smokers are switching to e-cigarettes, despite their relative safety — and understandably so. Smokers are barraged with news about inaccurate labeling, shoddy counterfeits and poorly made e-cigarettes that emit toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in vapor. And to the frustration of smokers, public health experts and, yes, manufacturers, the Food and Drug Administration, which has not yet set up sensible regulations, is making the situation worse.

Many e-cigs’ labels show wrong nicotine content, Salt Lake County Health Department study shows

From: The Salt Lake Tribune


The electronic cigarettes that are currently all the rage may contain much more nicotine than their labels show. Or much less.

That’s the finding of a new study by the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Center for Human Toxicology at the University of Utah, a health department news release said.

Researchers found that 61 percent of the e-cigarettes they bought at 14 vape shops and 16 tobacco specialty stores had nicotine levels at least 10 percent higher or lower than the label showed.

Be cautions with e-cigarette regulation

From: Fort Wayne News-Sentinel | Editorial

They haven’t been studied enough yet for effects to be understood.

Electronic cigarettes have passed the $1 bil­lion-a-year mark, so naturally they are catching the attention of public officials. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is calling for the FDA to regulate the product, and there are indications the General Assembly will consider regulations and restrictions.

Such scrutiny is appropriate, but caution is in order, too. E-cigarette use is steadily increasing, and the health effects of the product haven’t been studied enough for new legislation to be on the solid factual footing it should be. It would be reactionary and misguided to just regulate “vaping” the way smoking is, because they are clearly not the same thing.