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E-Cigarettes May Threaten Goal of Achieving Tobacco Endgame

Concern increasing that use of newer tobacco products may catalyze transition to tobacco products, drugs

smoking an e-cigarette

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable concern regarding the potential negative impact that electronic cigarettes and other new products may have on ending all tobacco use and nicotine addiction, according to a presidential advisory issued by the American Heart Association and published online March 13 in Circulation.

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues address the impact of new and emerging tobacco products on the "tobacco endgame" (i.e., ending all tobacco use and nicotine addiction in the United States).

The authors note that e-cigarettes have become the most popular tobacco products for youth and adolescents in the United States and offer new pathways to nicotine addiction. These products may be beneficial for helping some smokers quit or move to less harmful products, but their long-term effects and net public health impact are unclear. Concern is increasing that use of newer tobacco products may catalyze transition to use of other tobacco products or recreational drugs. Robust U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of all tobacco products is needed to avoid the economic and population health consequences of continued tobacco use. The American Heart Association supports minimizing use of all combustible tobacco products first, while ensuring that other products do not addict the next generation of young people.

"The current trend of using e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes threatens to erase any potential reduction of harm with e-cigarettes," Bhatnagar said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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