New Report Highlights Growth of E-CigarettesBy Evelina Burnett | Published 22 Jan 2014 06:00am |
A recent Surgeon General report highlighted the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, which many believe can help reduce smoking rates. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports ... e-cigarettes in Mississippi cannot be sold to anyone under 18, just like regular cigarettes, but many public health officials are worried about their impact on children.
"This will be liquid in here, like it is in here, and you just add it to your tank."
Richard Prewitt, owner of Two Devils Vape Shoppe in Waveland, explains how to re-fill an electronic cigarette with the oils that give them their flavor – in this case, banana pudding - as well as deliver the nicotine punch.
"So when you come in here and choose your flavor, you can choose your nicotine level as well," he says. "You don't want it too light or too heavy. If you do it too light, you'll go back to smoking cigarettes -- you don't want to do that if you're quitting smoking."
The specialty store opened earlier this month to cater to the growing number of e-cigarette users. Many use the e-cigarettes a tool to help stop smoking. Others consider them a less toxic alternative to tobacco, but since e-cigarettes are not regulated, it's not clear what their health effects are. Some public health groups worry the appealing flavors could lure in young smokers.
"How many adults do you thyink would be attracted to a bubble gum flavored cigarette?" asks Sandra Shelson, executive director of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
"So those of in public health are becoming concerned that are you using the e-cigarette product to encourage the initiation of tobacco use," she says. "Are these kids going to stay with e-cigarettes, or are they going to move on to real cigarettes? And because we don't know what's in them, what are the health consequences."
Last week's report said the percentage of youth in sixth through twelfth grade who had ever tried e-cigarettes more than doubled to 6.8 percent in just one year, from 2011 to 2012. The report also noted that many tobacco companies have started introducing e-cigarettes. It calls for further research into the impact and regulation of e-cigarettes.
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