Enqueatte Parker: E-cigarettes send the wrong message

11/10/2013 12:00 AM

11/08/2013 9:35 PM

According to a Sept. 5 press release published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of e-cigarettes among young U.S. middle and high school students doubled from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012. Could it be due to the promotion of the device being wrongly advertised as a smoking-cessation aid?

What exactly is an e-cigarette? An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that looks and feels like a cigarette. The water-vapor emission contains nicotine, propylene, flavorants and other ingredients. These devices are not FDA-regulated and send a wrong message to the user, especially to our young teenagers, making them believe that they are a safer and healthier alternative, which they are not.

More research needs to be conducted to provide evidence that e-cigarettes are in fact not a safe alternative. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant drug. According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction is the hardest addiction to break compared to heroin and cocaine. So why use an e-cigarette when it continues to reinforce the unhealthy behavior, contains nicotine and isn’t regulated in this county?

ENQUEATTE PARKER

member, Tobacco Outreach and Prevention Services Coalition

Modesto

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