The Washoe County Health District today issued a Position Statement making several recommendations related to the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) , that e-cigarettes should be treated like any other tobacco product. “Studies indicate that e-cigarettes do not just emit “harmless water vapor,” but typically, contain nicotine, flavoring agents, propylene glycol and toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “It’s important that people know that e-cigarettes can be dangerous, not only to the user, but also to people exposed to the second-hand vapors.”
E‐cigarettes are considered electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and are battery‐operated devices, often designed to resemble a cigarette, that deliver and emit a nicotine‐containing aerosol. They are commonly referred to as e‐cigs, e‐hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, vape pipes, or mods. There are disposable and rechargeable models and some have refillable systems that hold a larger volume of the e‐cigarette liquid (e‐liquid) and heat the e‐liquid to higher temperatures.
China, the planet’s largest tobacco consumer and producer, is the only nation where tobacco consumption does not fall when the government imposes higher taxes on these products, as incomes are rising faster than the tax hikes. This is creating a serious public health issue. Thus, it’s vital for the Chinese government to enforce these policies outside its large cities in order to curb smoking habits. On the bright side, the Beijing authorities passed a law last year to ban smoking in public places in the capital. It will take effect in June. China is also considering regulations to prohibit indoor smoking, limit it in outdoor public places and curtail the advertising of tobacco products across the country.
Among the five recommendations listed in the Health District’s statement, treating e-cigarettes like all other tobacco products would mean limiting purchasing of e-cigarettes by minors; creating a tax structure for e-cigarettes; and, prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in locations where combustible cigarettes are currently prohibited.