E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

January 28, 2015

vaping_slide-e8037645339ea7e11639aa5954c5722c8b444d5b-s800-c85Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine,intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

The e-cigarette industry immediately dismissed the findings, saying the measurements were made under unrealistic conditions.

“They clearly did not talk to [people who use e-cigarettes] to understand this,” says Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association. “They think, ‘Oh well. If we hit the button for so many seconds and that produces formaldehyde, then we have a new public health crisis to report.’ ” But that’s not the right way to think about it, Conley suggests.

E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine to create a vapor that users inhale. They’re generally considered safer than regular cigarettes, because some research has suggested that the level of most toxicants in the vapor is much lower than the levels in smoke.

Some public health experts think vaping could prevent some people from starting to smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes and help some longtime smokers kick the habit.

But many health experts are also worried that so little is known about e-cigarettes, they may pose unknown risks. So Peyton and his colleagues decided to take a closer look at what’s in that vapor.

“We simulated vaping by drawing the vapor — the aerosol — into a syringe, sort of simulating the lungs,” Peyton says. That enabled the researchers to conduct a detailed chemical analysis of the vapor. They found something unexpected when the devices were dialed up to their highest settings.

“To our surprise, we found masked formaldehyde in the liquid droplet particles in the aerosol,” Peyton says.

He calls it “masked” formaldehyde because it’s in a slightly different form than regular formaldehyde — a form that could increase the likelihood it would get deposited in the lung. And the researchers didn’t just find a little of the toxicant.

And formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

“Long-term exposure is recognized as contributing to lung cancer,” says Peyton. “And so we would like to minimize contact (to the extent one can) especially to delicate tissues like the lungs.”

Conley says the researchers found formaldehyde only when the e-cigarettes were cranked up to their highest voltage levels.

“If you hold the button on an e-cigarette for 100 seconds, you could potentially produce 100 times more formaldehyde than you would ever get from a cigarette,” Conley says. “But no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable.”

That’s because the vapor would be so hot. Conley compares it to overcooking a steak.

“I can take a steak and I can cook it on the grill for the next 18 hours, and that steak will be absolutely chock-full of carcinogens,” he says. “But the steak will also be charcoal, so no one will eat it.”

Peyton acknowledges that he found no formaldehyde when the e-cigarettes were set at low levels. But he says he thinks plenty of people use the high settings.

“As I walk around town and look at people using these electronic cigarette devices it’s not difficult to tell what sort of setting they’re using,” Peyton says. “You can see how much of the aerosol they’re blowing out. It’s not small amounts.”

“It’s pretty clear to me,” he says, “that at least some of the users are using the high levels.”

So Peyton hopes the government will tightly regulate the electronic devices. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of deciding just how strict it should be.

Click Here to read the National Public Radio (NPR) story


Report Details Health Issues Linked to E-Cigs

January 28, 2015
January 26, 2015
PHOTO: The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year, which has prompted the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to call on the Food and Drug Administration to finalize regulations. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-01-26/health-issues/report-details-health-issues-linked-to-e-cigs/a44120-1#sthash.EqPhAhuS.kvAsJAmH.dpuf

PHOTO: The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year, which has prompted the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to call on the Food and Drug Administration to finalize regulations. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

WASHINGTON – The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year compared with 2013, according to new data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Children under age six were the victims in more than half the cases.

The rise in calls has the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to finalize its proposed rule to regulate the products. Campaign vice president for communications Vince Willmore says the agency also needs to crack down on companies’ marketing and flavors, such as “gummy bear” and bubble gum.

“Given how they’re being marketed, and given these sweet flavors, it’s not surprising more kids are using e-cigarettes, and that they’re attracted to nicotine liquids and being poisoned by them,” Willmore says.

While there are no federal regulations to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquids, most states require that purchasers be 18 years of age. Willmore says his group wants the FDA to finalize and strengthen rules by the end of April.

Willmore says the colors and packaging of e-cigarettes also appeal to kids, yet nicotine is highly dangerous and not only because of potential addiction.

“Nicotine is a very toxic substance and exposure to even small amounts of nicotine, whether it’s through the skin or through ingestion, can cause vomiting and seizures,” he says. “Unfortunately, it can even be lethal.”

A 1-year-old child in New York died last month after swallowing liquid nicotine. Willmore says the FDA should require childproof packaging, and adults need to keep the devices and supplies out of sight and out of reach of children.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service – AZ

– See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-01-26/health-issues/report-details-health-issues-linked-to-e-cigs/a44120-1#sthash.EqPhAhuS.kvAsJAmH.dpuf


FDA Ordered Stop of Seven Tobacco Products

August 29, 2014
On August 28, 2014, the FDA issued orders to Star Scientific, Inc., finding 7 dissolvable tobacco products as “not substantially equivalent” to their predicate products. This means that these products may not be sold, marketed, or distributed. Learn more about the orders and how to report violations on FDA’s website.

 

Local health departments are encouraged to share this information with their tobacco compliance staff and the public. Use these sample Facebook and Twitter messages to share the news and direct viewers to your own website or the FDA.

 

Facebook post: The FDA ordered a manufacturer to stop sales, marketing, and distribution of 7 dissolvable tobacco products that do not meet requirements (“not substantially equivalent”). Learn more about which products are restricted and how to report violations at _________________.

 

Tweet: FDA ordered a stop to sales, marketing, distribution of 7 tobacco products. Find out why and how to report violations at ____________________.

 

 

Connect with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Team 

NACCHO welcomes requests from any local health department for tobacco prevention planning and technical assistance. Please send your request to tobacco@naccho.org. Find resources, policy statements, news, and more on NACCHO’s Tobacco webpage.

 From National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) Tobacco Alert 8/29

Tribal Outreach

May 16, 2014

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, FDA will host a Tribal Consultation via webinar from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT to discuss FDA’s proposed deeming rule. A letter and fact sheet were sent to Tribes (attached). Please share with any Tribes within your state boundaries to ensure that they have received the information. NOTE: This webinar is for Tribes only.

Tribal_Deeming_letter (4) (2)

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ASHLine Director Stephen Michael on Morning Blend

February 19, 2014
ASHLine Director talks about Quitting on "The Morning Blend"

ASHLine Director talks about Quitting on “The Morning Blend”