Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member andpartner
A new and rapidly growing trend among middle and high school students is electronic cigarette use. Vaping is the term used by kids to describe using e-cigarettes. A battery powered atomizer produces a vapor of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin based liquid, combined with nicotine and flavoring which is inhaled and exhaled similarly to cigarette smoke. E-cigarettes come in a variety of popular flavors such as bubblegum, chocolate, and various fruits.
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey results, in 2012, the increase in usage doubled among this age group, prompting concern among health officials. According to a spokesman for the American Lung Association,”People are inhaling some type of vaporized compound into their lungs without really knowing what’s in it.” Numerous health experts have indicated that the experiments raise many questions regarding the unknown impact on an adolescent brain. Surprisingly, even a chief executive of a producer of e-cigarettes said that the rise in youth usage was “unacceptable” and added that the company was “looking forward to a regulatory framework that restricts youth access.”
In 2009, the FDA warned that e-cigarettes could pose health risks. Currently, the FDA is conducting “listening sessions” and is expected to publish proposed regulations in October, 2013.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released today, “Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. Depending on the brand, e-cigarette cartridges typically contain nicotine, a component to produce the aerosol (e.g., propylene glycol or glycerol), and flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate) (1). Potentially harmful constituents also have been documented in some e-cigarette cartridges, including irritants, genotoxins, and animal carcinogens (1). E-cigarettes that are not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and in most states there are no restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Use of e-cigarettes has increased among U.S. adult current and former smokers in recent years (2); however, the extent of use among youths is uncertain.
E-cigarette experimentation and recent use doubled among U.S. middle and high school students during 2011–2012, resulting in an estimated 1.78 million students having ever used e-cigarettes as of 2012. Moreover, in 2012, an estimated 160,000 students who reported ever using e-cigarettes had never used conventional cigarettes. This is a serious concern because the overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health remains uncertain. In youths, concerns include the potential negative impact of nicotine on adolescent brain development (4), as well as the risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products.
CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will continue to explore ways to increase surveillance and research on e-cigarettes. Given the rapid increase in use and youths’ susceptibility to social and environmental influences to use tobacco, developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youths is critical.”
Please educate your children about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100” lawyers (out of more than 80,000 attorneys) in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2013)– national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.