The New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation is supporting legislation SB 118 and 119 that raises the age for e-cigarette purchase to 21 and a second bill that places vaping e-cigarettes under the Current Clean Air act that govern the areas where cigarette smoking is not allowed. The letter to editor summarizes the current data about e-cigarettes. They are not safe and are currently unregulated. Dr. Barry Ramo is testifying at the NM Senate Tuesday. Emails to your Senator or Representative are important if you feel this legislation is valuable for our children’s health.
To: Santa Fe New Mexican
Reader View: Disregard Rosemond’s medical advice about e-cigarettes
By Barry W. Ramo | Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 7:00 pm
In the U.S., high school students are vaping e-cigarettes at alarming rates increasing by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015 passing their use of combustible tobacco. The column by Mr. Rosemond (“Caught your kid vaping? It’s not a crisis,” Jan. 29) in the Family section of The Santa Fe New Mexican gives parents misleading reassurance regarding the use of e-cigarettes by their teenage children. He writes that “users don’t rob convenience stores or snatch elderly women’s purses to feed their habit,” and “as addictions go, it is relatively benign.”
The United States Surgeon General disagrees. In the first comprehensive report on e-cigarettes in December 2016, The Surgeon General said use among young people “is now a major public health concern” and “The use of products containing nicotine poses dangers to youth, pregnant women, and fetuses. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe.” The report notes that nicotine exposure during periods of significant brain development, such as adolescence, can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction to cocaine and marijuana. He believes e-cigarettes are a gateway drug to smoking cigarettes. The journal Pediatrics published an April 2016 report and found that adolescents using e-cigarettes were more than six times likely to late smoke cigarettes.
Because e-cigarettes are so new, a full understanding of their toxicity or safety but evidence of the toxic effects of nicotine from animal studies on cigarettes their use is far from a “benign addiction.”
E-cigarettes emit more than “harmless vapor.” The nicotine aerosol is made up of ultra fine particles that can exacerbate respiratory ailments like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The nicotine aerosol contains propylene glycol, metals including chromium, nickel and detectable levels of carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines. A recent report found that some flavored e-cigarettes contain carcinogenic substances. Since there are thousands of flavors and more than 500 unregulated brands of e-cigarettes, we don’t know what is in them.
Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, has submitted Senate Bills 318 and 319; one would limit e-cigarette use under the Dee Johnson Indoor Clean Air Act and the second would raise the age for purchasing e-cigarettes to 21.
Barry W. Ramo, M.D., FACC, is medical director of the New Heart Center for Wellness and a fitness and cardiac rehabilitation cardiologist at the New Mexico Heart Institute.
To see the post, click here: Santa Fe New Mexican Letter to the Editor – ecigs