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CCHD offers e-cig awareness program

An e-cigarette presentation was given Feb. 4 at Bluegrass Community and Technical College by the Clark County Health Department with support from the Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program at the quarterly Medical Reserve Corps meeting, Clark County division.

The topic for the evening was “E-Cigarettes and Vaping: What is the Big Deal?” presented by health educator Angela Bereznak. KTPC policy analyst Monica Munday, Policy Analyst spoke about FDA regulations and the recent Federal Tobacco 21 regulations.

E-cigarettes are available in many shapes and sizes. The dangers with the appearance of e-cigarettes is that certain ones, depending on their appearance can be hidden. E-cigarettes can look like flash drives/jump drives, pens, and other everyday items.

A Juul takes the appearance of a flash drive and the battery is charged by inserted it into a computer’s USB port. Other e-cigarettes are not as conspicuous such as tank systems or “mods” as they are much larger and less discrete. E-cigarettes are often called “vapes,” an e-cigarette and a vape are the same product. The e-cigarette is the tool, vaping is the action or result of using the e-cigarette.

The substance that exits the e-cigarette is not a vapor, it is an aerosol. The aerosol includes a slew of harmful chemicals and toxins including:

-— nicotine

— ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs- Volatile organic compounds (i.e. formaldehyde, also known as embalming fluid

— cancer-causing chemicals (i.e. cadmium which is found in batteries

— heavy metal such as nickel, tin and lead

— flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease. In recent years, employees whom worked in popcorn factors developed serious lung illness. It was discovered this occurred due to the diacetyl in the butter products used to make the popcorn; the term “popcorn lung” was coined from these incidences. Diacetyl was designed to be safe when ingested, not inhaled, as is done when a person “vapes.”

The majority of e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, regardless of what the label on the package states. The Food and Drug Administration does not check the nicotine levels in e-cigarettes.

Exposure to nicotine during adolescence can:

— harm brain development, which continues until age 25

— impact learning, memory, and attention

— increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.

E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start.

Additional research can help understand long-term health effects.

The take away is: If you don’t use e-cigarettes currently, don’t start. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes a smoking cessation aid.

A new section of Senate Bill 89, subtitle 17A of KRS Chapter 304 is created as follows: A health plan shall provide coverage for all U.S. FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications. It is highly recommended that those interested in NRT to call their insurance company to find out what their individual plan offers.

The age to buy tobacco products has risen to 21

In December, the Federal Government passed has raised the legal age to buy tobacco products including, e-cigarettes to 21. This link will offer more information: https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/retail-sales-tobacco-products/selling-tobacco-products-retail-stores.

To report a violation, make a report via the FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/compliance-enforcement-training/report-potential-tobacco-product-violation .Once a report is made, the FDA or Alcohol and Beverage Control is required to conduct a compliance check. It is all anonymous.