Kentuckians with lower incomes are much more likely to try e-cigarettes, new poll shows

foundation for a healthy KYDespite warnings that e-cigarettes can be harmful, nearly 40 percent of Kentuckians age 18-45 have tried an e-cig, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). In fact, Kentuckians with lower incomes also were about 74 percent more likely to have tried vaping than those with higher incomes.

“Research suggests that e-cigs may be a gateway to using other forms of tobacco, and they can be just as harmful,” Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said in a news release. “They expose users to toxic chemicals, including nicotine, which long has been proven to be addictive and responsible for a wide range of health issues. E-cigs are simply not a safe alternative to smoking, especially for young adults and nonsmokers.”

KHIP also asked opinions about the safety of e-cigarettes. About three in 10 Kentucky adults thought e-cigs were safer than tobacco cigarettes, and 19 percent thought they were less safe. A much larger proportion – 45 percent – thought there was no difference in safety between the two.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report in December 2016 stating that the use of e-cigarettes by youth and young adults often leads to cigarette smoking, other tobacco use and nicotine addiction, with all the health dangers associated with nicotine addiction. The agency raised concerns that e-cig marketers have been using tactics that attract youth and young adults and said that the incidence of this age group trying e-cigs doubled from 2013 to 2014, the latest date for which data was available. The U.S. Surgeon General has called the rising use of e-cigarettes among young adults a “major public health problem.”

To see the full KHIP report on e-smoking, please click here.

 

FDA moves to regulate e-cigarettes and ban all sales to minors

No Smoking SignThe federal government on Thursday moved to regulate the e-cigarette industry – including banning electronic cigarette sales to minors – and required all tobacco products to undergo government review, even many already on the market.

E-cigarettes, along with similarly categorized devices such as vaporizers and vape pens, will be regulated as tobacco products because they use a liquid containing nicotine.

The new rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed by Congress in 2009. Why has it taken so long to get this rule passed, if Congress acted six years ago? Well, according to Kaiser Health News: “In December 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the FDA could not regulate electronic cigarettes as a drug or a device but only as a tobacco product. That meant the government could oversee their marketing but not restrict their sale, except to minors. It’s unclear why the FDA needed more than five additional years to issue a final rule.”

Click here to read the full FAQ from Kaiser Health News.

 

FDA expands “Real Cost” campaign about smokeless tobacco to focus on rural white male teenagers

real talk graphicThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new campaign on the dangers of smokeless tobacco among rural teens, expanding its “The Real Cost” campaign “to educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use.”

The FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that 31.84 percent of rural, white males ages 12 to 17 — about 629,000 total youths — either experiment with smokeless tobacco or are at-risk.

The central message in “The Real Cost” Smokeless Tobacco Prevention Campaign is “smokeless doesn’t mean harmless,” which aims to motivate these teenagers to reconsider what they think they know about smokeless tobacco use.

“For the first time, messages on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use — including nicotine addiction, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancer — are being highlighted through the placement of advertisements in 35 U.S. markets specifically selected to reach the campaign’s target audience,” according to a news release from the FDA.

“The Real Cost” campaign launched nationally in February 2014 across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home sites. It currently airs in 35 markets, including Lexington and Paducah in Kentucky.

 

FDA is Considering New Regulations on E-Cigarettes to Protect Children

iStock_000042497036_SmallThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering new regulations on e-cigarettes and is asking for public input on nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine products. The FDA said that the increase in calls and visits to poison centers and emergency departments involving nicotine poisonings is prompting the agency to consider whether it should warn the public about the dangers of nicotine exposure or require that some products be sold in child-resistant packaging.

“Because liquid nicotine comes in a variety of bright colors and in flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, it is no surprise that it has found its way into the hands of children, with tragic results,” said Sandra Hassink, American Academy of Pediatrics president.

According to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 24 percent of Kentucky adults and 41 percent of residents aged 18 to 29 reported using e-cigarettes.

To read more about the CDC campaign focusing on the dangers of e-cigarettes, click here.