Flavored vaping ban: What you should know

2019, Archive, Feel Good, Month, September, Year

In a surprise order, the state of Michigan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banned the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes, the first state in the US to do so.

E-cigarettes have come under heavy scrutiny over the summer as the use of its products – vaping – has been cited as the cause of more than 200 hospitalizations, mostly of teens with life-threatening lung conditions.

The Michigan ban comes on the heels of other such bans of e-cigarette sales in large cities, such as San Francisco, and pleas from others to stop the practice of vaping entirely.

The perception of vaping is that it is a safer alternative to smoking, one that saves the users from the nasty consequences that come with tobacco use. Rather, vaping carries many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as cigarette smoke, including nicotine.

And while cigarette smoking among the youth in grades 8 to 12 has steadily declined over the past 20 years (down to under 5 percent in 2017), the group’s e-cigarette usage as soared, with 26.7 percent of high school seniors reporting having vaped in the past 30 days.

“We know that nicotine is addictive,” said Dr. Kavyashri Jagadeesh, an internist with McLaren Macomb. “So once hooked, the majority of young e-cigarette users will become long-term users.”

When compared to non-users, e-cigarettes are associated with a 71 percent higher risk for stroke, 59 percent for heart attack and 40 percent for coronary heart disease.

“Companies promote e-cigarettes as a way to help smokers quit, but much more evidence is needed to show their effectiveness” Dr. Jagadeesh said. “Since nicotine helps lower the threshold for addiction to other agents, the use of e-cigarettes could spawn more addictions.”

The Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Macomb hosts smoking cessation classes to help people free themselves of their nicotine addiction. To learn more, call (586) 493-7557.