“They are electronic, alternative smoking devices that simulate the sensation of smoking. They do not expose the user, or others close by, to harmful levels of cancer-causing agents and other dangerous chemicals normally associated with traditional tobacco products.”
– Craig Youngblood, president of InLife, an e-cigarette company.
“They are nicotine delivery devices intended to be used like a cigarette. What happens to someone who stops inhaling the tars of cigarettes and inhales only nicotine? We don’t know. There is at least the potential for harm.”
– Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer, American Lung Association
The above quotes appeared on WebMD and the address the unknowns involving electronic cigarettes. The devices were banned from county buildings by the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
Their makers claim that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes. But until e-cigarettes are proven safe, the Food and Drug Administration may soon ban their sale, as major U.S. medical associations have asked.
These are battery operated products designed to turn nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor. They may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans.
Because clinical studies about the safety of e-cigarettes have not been submitted to the FDA, one has no way of knowing if they are safe, what chemicals they contain or how much nicotine is being inhaled.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Additionally, these products may be attractive to kids. Using e-cigarettes may lead kids to try other tobacco products which is a bad thing.
With e-cigarettes there are many unknowns, including the unknown health effects of long-term use. Currently, there are no e-cigarettes approved by FDA for therapeutic uses so they cannot be recommended as a cessation aid.
So, with so much uncertainty, the commission’s action was a wise one. Made at the request of the Barton County Health Department, the ban is a forward-thinking resolution that indeed puts the health of county residents in the forefront.