The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing this Public Health Advisory to consumers and is advising caution when considering e-cigarettes, Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs), and other vapor products. These devices contain and emit harmful chemicals and pose known and unknown health risks to users and non-users alike.
- The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing this Public Health Advisory to consumers and is advising caution when considering e-cigarette, electronic smoking devices (ESDs), and other vapor products.
- These devices contain and emit harmful chemicals and pose known and unknown health risks to users and non-users
- E-cigarettes/electronic smoking devices contain chemicals, including nicotine. Nicotine is toxic and highly addictive and affects the nervous system and heart. It can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress A Report of the Surgeon General Executive Summary (2014), reports that the evidence is sufficient to infer that nicotine activates multiple biological pathways through which smoking increases risk for adult onset diseases, including atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and Nicotine is toxic to developing fetuses and impairs fetal brain and lung development.
- Explosions and fire involving e-cigarettes/vaping devices have been reported in Arkansas and across the United Sates resulting in serious burns and injuries.
- E-cigarettes/electronic smoking devices are not emission free “secondhand aerosol” and their pollutants could be a health concern for users and secondhand smokers. Aerosols contain heavy metals, ultrafine particulates, and cancer-causing agents.
- Secondhand aerosol contains chemicals that can be inhaled by non-users. Bystanders can inhale nicotine, propylene glycol and tobacco-related contaminants, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and heavy metals.
- Flavorings used in electronic smoking devices contain propylene glycol, glycerin, and food flavorings like diacetyl which are NOT recognized as safe for inhalation. The FDA recognizes these products as “Generally Recognized as Safe” for ingestion ONLY. Diacetyl is hazardous when inhaled.
- Current scientific information about the effects of using electronic smoking devices (ESDs) is inadequate to assure the public that they are safe.
Effects on Children
- Excessive exposure to nicotine has resulted in poisoning and death, in young children and pets. Liquid contained or used in e-cigarettes or electronic smoking devices (ESDs) should not be accessible to
- Pregnant women should avoid using these devices and children should not be exposed to them. The nicotine crosses the placenta and can damage the lungs, heart, and central nervous system of the developing
- Pregnant women should know exposure to nicotine, in conventional or electronic smoking devices, may:
- cause a miscarriage;
- cause low birth weight, creating significant health challenges for their babies;
- affect the unborn baby’s blood flow, heart rate, and breathing;
- contribute to sudden infant death
- Parents should be aware that electronic cigarettes and similar electronic nicotine delivery devices are available in a variety of flavors, such as bubble gum, strawberry, chocolate, and mint, which may be attractive to children. Arkansas Act 1188 of 2013 prohibits distribution of “alternative nicotine products” directly, indirectly by an agent or employee, or through vending machines to minors under the age of 18. “Alternative nicotine products” includes both e-cigarettes and any product containing nicotine that is intended for human consumption. The age of the individual purchasing these products must be verified using a photographic identification card.
- Parents should not allow children to play with electronic cigarettes or similar devices. They contain batteries and liquid chemicals which, if swallowed, could cause serious health complications. Nicotine is a known poison. Bottles of e-juice, used in e-cigarettes, are a poison risk for small children and pets.
- E-cigarettes/electronic smoking devices may lead to an increase in nicotine addiction among young people. E-cigarette use among middle and high school students in the U.S. tripled to 2.45 million students in 2014, compared with 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- E-cigarettes, smoking, or the use of tobacco products is prohibited on the grounds of Arkansas public schools, public charter schools, and state supported colleges and universities, A.C.A. 6-21-609, A.C.A. 6-60-803.
Confusion on Enforcement/Normalization of Smoking
- Many electronic cigarettes/electronic smoking devices (ESDs) emit an aerosol that looks like cigarette smoke. The similarity of these products to combustible cigarettes creates confusion for employees and visitors and presents enforcement challenges for workplaces, restaurants/bars, state agencies, and other indoor/outdoor campuses that have existing tobacco-free policy/ordinances.
- Electronic smoking devices (ESDs) re-normalize smoking behaviors and reverse clean indoor air gains. Some national organizations have released policy statements on ESDs including the American Academy of Pediatrics in December 2013 suggesting ESDs should be treated like other combustible tobacco products and that sales to minors should be prohibited. The World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2013 advised that consumers not use ESDs until safety has been The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued key facts and statistics about the use, risks, and myths all consumers, bystanders, and parents should know.
- It is illegal for e-cigarettes to be marketed as a smoking cessation aid. A number of electronic cigarette companies have received warning letters from the FDA for making such
- Adequate testing for electronic cigarettes and similar electronic smoking devices for tobacco cessation has not occurred. Until Food and Drug Administration approval is given, the Arkansas Department of Health recommends only FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products, such as nicotine patches which contain controlled doses of nicotine, be used for tobacco cessation
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