Tennessee Department of Health updates advisory on e-cigarettes

Posted at 11:35 AM, Dec 10, 2018

The Tennessee Department of Health has updated its advisory on e-cigarettes, citing new evidence of risks associated with the devices. 

The department issued its first public health advisory on e-cigarettes back in February 2013. Health officials continue to urge caution for anyone considering using them. 

“Growing evidence has raised the level of concern about the serious risks posed by these products to the health of everyone involved, especially children and teens,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Both current and potential users of all electronic nicotine delivery systems should be aware e-cigarettes may create a variety of dangers for the user and for bystanders exposed to the products.”

A few risks cited in the new advisory include: 

  • Nicotine is highly addictive and dangerous to the developing brain. Nearly 90 percent of adult smokers started before age 18.
  • There is now substantial evidence that use of ENDS by youth places them at increased risk of becoming future smokers of combustible products such as cigarettes.
  • In Tennessee, 40 percent of high school students have used an END product and 11.5 percent report current use. 
  • Those who use ENDS to quit use of conventional tobacco products often continue to smoke cigarettes as well, and may be less likely to quit using tobacco than those who do not use ENDS. 

The department said young people may not understand the dangers associated with e-cigs, adding it supports the regulation of flavorings and further urges that no flavorings of any kind be used with tobacco and nicotine products.  

“These devices combine flavors such as crème brulée or mango with minimal vapor production, making them attractive to youth and easy to conceal, even in school,” said TDH Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness Morgan McDonald, MD. 

Click here to read the full advisory.