Category Archives: ecigarettes

What Can We do to Stop the Vaping Epidemic

Vaping is an epidemic that has taken every school by storm. There is not one school in New Jersey, if not the United States that has gone unaffected. There are so many risks to vaping, and a lot of the risk comes from the unknown.

What we do know is that vape juice (e-juice, flavors, etc.) contain many harmful chemicals including diacetyl, known to cause popcorn lung, and formaldehyde, used for embalming. There is not a single product used for vaping that is FDA approved, including the commonly used Juul pod.

E-cigarettes and vapes were designed as a “safer” or “healthier” product for those who smoke cigarettes to taper off their nicotine use. The fact is, though, there are no approved cessation routes that include vapes or e-cigarettes. Most of the time, people start by using cigarettes, then switch to vaping, but more often than not, these users become dual users, using both cigarettes and vapes. In turn, they end up consuming more nicotine than they otherwise would have.

Aside from the adults that vapes were designed to be used for, marketing has followed suite with Big Tobacco and cigarette advertisements. Instead of marketing to adults, we often see advertisements that are made to entice youth and young adults. Why? Because they become the long term users. Ads display young people, surrounded by people of the opposite sex, blinged out with expensive jewelry, and living in expensive cities. They all look happy, and pleasant. There are also over 15,000 different flavors in e-juice which are directed towards flavors youth would like; cinnamon toast crunch, cookies and cream, crème brulee, etc.

So the question, then, is how do we prevent underage use of this unregulated nicotine trap? A common theme among professionals is to ban all flavors of the e-juice. Youth and young adults are drawn to these flavors and many youth state that they started to vape because there was a flavor that they were interested in trying, and continued to vape because the flavor (and nicotine) had them hooked.  By eliminating flavors, we are eliminating part of the appeal.

Further, there needs to be continued pressure on the FDA to regulate the e-juice. With no ingredients listed on any product, it is unknown what effects e-juice will have on you, or if the products are even safe for consumption. If there is regulation, the safety of the consumer will finally be taken into consideration.

Big Tobacco, Is it Still a Problem?

Tobacco products have been illegal to advertise for years, now. We do not hear about it as often and it becomes the question of “is it still a problem?”. The answer, bluntly, is yes. Smoking still affects many people, including youth between the ages of 12 and 18. Though smoking cigarettes has gone down in quantity of people smoking them, nicotine use is still a dangerous fad, being offered in more varieties than it once was.

In New Jersey, the legal age to buy tobacco is 21. But, 8.1% of high schoolers have reported smoking and over 12% have reported using e-cigarettes, which still contain a high amount of nicotine. It is a good measure that the legal age has been raised, but it is clear that this has not deterred underage persons from smoking.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, as per the CDC. “More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States,” stated the CDC. Aside from death, cigarette smoking leads to other major diseases like cancer, chronic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and minor ailments like wrinkles, yellowed teeth, Raynaud’s.

Cigarettes also effect the environment, which is something we do not always think about it. Cigarettes are a leading cause of deforestation because of growing the tobacco. Aside from just growing the tobacco, having enough paper to roll the cigarettes or to sell separately as rolling paper further influences deforestation.

A more obvious effect on the environment is air pollution. Not only is air pollution happening as people continue to smoke cigarettes, but the production process creates mass amounts of air pollutants, including greenhouse gasses.

So, though Big Tobacco has moved to the backburner in a lot of citizen’s minds, it is still an extremely pertinent issue. Big tobacco is ruining lives by continuing to cause health hazards, the issue that has been pressed for a while now. But, it is important to see the impacts that big tobacco is placing on the environment, too. As e-cigarettes and vapes rise up in popularity, we cannot forget or stop pushing for the end of cigarette smoking and big tobacco.

With overdoses on the rise, opioid programs come to Morris

  1. Four Prosecutor’s Office heroin programs heading to Morris towns
    In a continued effort to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is hosting four symposiums in several county high schools over the next few weeks.

In Morris County, fatal opiate overdoses jumped from 43 in 2015 to 64 in 2016. There have been at least 23 overdoses so far in 2017, on track to greatly exceed last year’s total.
Prosecutor Fredric Knapp is hoping the ongoing public programs will continue to raise awareness of the heroin and opioid epidemic and show how to combat it.

Prograns will be held in: Montville, Roxbury, Dover, and Kinnelon

Click the link below to read the full story:

http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/local/morris-county/2017/04/20/overdoses-rise-opioid-programs-come-morris/100702728/

 

CDC Warns About Dangers of E-Cigarettes

2

March Prevention Column

 E-Cigarettes… The Not-So Safe Alternative

Many people are turning to e-cigarettes, or “vaping”, as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. This new trend is continuing to become more and more popular, and is conveying the idea that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking, and possesses no danger.

Recent studies have found a hidden form of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor. In fact, formaldehyde was found in a different form than regular formaldehyde, and this form could increase the likelihood that it would get deposited into a person’s lungs. Additionally, this form of formaldehyde was found at significantly higher concentrations than regular cigarettes (between 5% and 15% higher!)

So what? Well, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen – this means it is known to cause cancer, in this case, of the lungs. The formaldehyde differs based on the setting someone is using on their electronic cigarette device. Many people report using e-cigarettes at high settings.

Regardless, much is left unknown about the facts and dangers of vaping. Since this trend is so new, the public knows very little about long term outcomes. Don’t forget, at one point a doctor could smoke a cigarette while you were visiting with him or her, and smoking in schools was acceptable. It was only once these horrific dangers came out that a change occurred. The reason we do not know about vaping dangers is NOT because there are not any, but rather the dangerous results have not appeared yet.