January 28, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Califormia State Health Officer Issues Health Advisory and New E-cigarette Report

The California Department of Public Health just issued this press statement.  I have reviewed the materials that they have produced and they are world-class resources that everyone should be using to guide policymaking and educational campaigns on e-cigarettes.
 
SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) director and state health officer Dr. Ron Chapman today issued a Health Advisory and the “State Health Officer’s Report on E-Cigarettes: A Community Health Threat,” warning Californians of the toxicity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

“E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals, and the nicotine in them is as addictive as the nicotine in cigarettes,” said Chapman. “There is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes. That is why, as the state’s health officer, I am advising Californians to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages.”

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices, often designed to resemble cigarettes that deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol. E-cigarettes have many names, especially among youth and young adults, such as e-cigs, e-hookahs, vape pens, vape pipes or mods. The liquid solution (e-liquid) used in e-cigarettes typically contains nicotine and is commonly referred to as “e-juice.” It is sold in a variety of candy, fruit and alcohol flavors.

Studies find a significant rise in e-cigarette use each year, especially among young adults and teens. New California data shows that e-cigarette use among young adults, ages 18 – 29, increased from 2.3 percent in 2012 to 7.6 percent in 2013. Young adults in California are three times more likely to use e-cigarettes than those 30 and older. Likewise, e-cigarette use among U.S. teens has surged. In 2014, teen use of e-cigarettes nationally surpassed the use of traditional cigarettes, with more than twice as many 8th and 10th graders reporting using e-cigarettes more than traditional cigarettes. Among 12th graders, 17 percent reported currently using e-cigarettes vs. 14 percent using traditional cigarettes.

Along with an increase in use, there has been a spike in calls to the California poison control centers related to exposures to nicotine-containing e-liquids and accidental e-cigarette poisonings – from 19 in 2012 to 243 in 2014. More than 60 percent of all those e-cigarette related calls involve children 5 years and under.

“The e-cigarette cartridges and e-liquid bottles are not equipped with child-resistant caps, often leak, creating a poisoning risk by ingestion or by skin or eye contact,” warned Dr. Chapman. “These products are not safe.”

Highlights of the report include:
 

  • Exposure to nicotine during adolescence can harm brain development.
  • E-cigarettes do not emit a harmless water vapor, but an aerosol that has been found to contain at least 10 chemicals that are on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  • E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved cessation aids.
  • Between 2011 and 2013, e-cigarette advertising jumped more than 1,200 percent and used marketing tactics to appeal to youth. Those tactics include the use of cartoon characters which is prohibited in traditional cigarette advertising. 

 
Chapman also announced that the public education and media efforts to counter e-cigarettes are just beginning. CDPH intends to partner with health, medical, child care and education communities to educate consumers about the dangers of e-cigarettes, and plans an advertising campaign in the near future.
 
The California Tobacco Control Program was established by the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988. The act, approved by California voters, instituted a 25-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes and earmarked five cents of that tax to fund California’s tobacco control efforts. These efforts include supporting local health departments and community organizations, a media campaign, and evaluation and surveillance. California’s comprehensive approach has changed social norms around tobacco use and secondhand smoke. It is estimated California’s tobacco control efforts have saved more than one million lives and have resulted in $134 billion worth of savings in health care costs. Learn more at TobaccoFreeCA.
 

Comments

Comment: 

It’s been a banner week to address the growing threat of e-cigarettes in California.
 
On Monday, Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 140, a bill  that defines electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product and applies our current statewide tobacco laws to these products. The bill is sponsored by American Lung Association in California,  American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Heart Association. 
 
Below is the statement from the Lung Association on SB 140 which is also<strong; http://www.lung.org/associations/states/california/for-the-media/america... on our website: </strong;
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<em;The American Lung Association in California applauds California Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) for introducing SB&nbsp;140 on Monday, January 26,&nbsp;which calls for electronic cigarettes to be defined as a tobacco product and applies our current statewide tobacco laws to these products. This bill would ensure that youth will not have access to electronic cigarettes and will address growing public health concerns about their use. Many local cities and counties across the state have taken action to protect communities from e-cigarettes, now it's time for our state elected officials to get behind Senator Leno's Senate Bill 140. &nbsp; <strong;- Olivia Gertz, President and CEO, American Lung Association in California</strong;</em;
&nbsp;
As expected, http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/news/2015-01-26-new-leno-bill-protects-public-... Leno’s press release has generated a fair amount of media. Here is a link to an article from the SF Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Citing-public-health-Leno-seeks-more-... as well as an editorial below.
&nbsp;
And today, as many of you are aware, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman issued a http://cdph.ca.gov/Documents/EcigHealthAdvisory01282015.pdf" target="_blank";Health Advisory and the “http://cdph.ca.gov/programs/tobacco/Documents/Media/State%20Health-e-cig... target="_blank";State Health Officer’s Report on E-Cigarettes: A Community Health Threat,” warning Californians of the toxicity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).
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The American Lung Association in California has released a http://www.lung.org/associations/states/california/for-the-media/stateme... regarding the new report and health advisory. &nbsp;Click on the link or see below.
&nbsp;
<em;As a pediatrician and Board Member of American Lung Association in California, I am pleased to see the new Health Advisory released by the Department of Public Health to alert healthcare providers to a growing public health threat posed by the marketing, sale and use of electronic cigarettes (e‐cigarettes) - especially to children and young people. The Lung Association has been urging regulations on these products. This Advisory helps to shed light on a subject that is not always understood or adequately addressed in the healthcare community.</em;
What is most terrifying in this information is the impact on our children and youth. It is a wake-up call. Preliminary data from the California Healthy Kids Survey of more than 430,000 middle and high schools students shows that e-cigarette use is much higher than use of traditional cigarettes. Those of us in the&nbsp;medical field have an obligation to educate, advise and protect our patients and their families about this growing threat.
<em;<strong;-Afif El-Hasan, MD</strong;</em;<strong;<em;, <em;American Lung Association in California Board of Directors</em;</em;</strong;
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As you can imagine, there has been a ton of media interest generated from the release of the report today. Even Barbara Boxer got in on the fun and https://twitter.com/SenatorBoxer/status/560551009257541632";tweeted about the report.
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We look forward to continuing to work with all of you to address the growing problem of e-cigarettes and welcome your feedback and collaboration.
&nbsp;
<strong;Kimberly Amazeen</strong; &nbsp;| Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy
American Lung Association in California
1531 I Street, Suite 201, Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph: 916-585-7670 |Cell: 916.716.0717 | Email: mailto:[email protected]";Kimberly.Amazeen@lung.org

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