Health & Safety

February 27, 2014

Electronic cigarette use increasing among Airmen

Air Force Medical Support
Agency Health Promotions

FALLS CHURCH, Va.  — Electronic cigarette use is becoming a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes, but the upward trend is becoming a concern for health care providers.

The battery-operated products, known as e-cigarettes, are designed to deliver nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals as a vapor that is inhaled by the user. According to data from the 2011 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors, e-cigarettes have been tried by 5 percent of Airmen, and 2.2 percent of Airmen have used e-cigarettes in the past year.

“Airmen are using e-cigarettes at a level comparable to the civilian adult population. But e-cigarettes use is rapidly growing among youths and have been used by 10 percent of high school students,” said Col. (Dr.) John Oh, Chief of Health Promotion, Air Force Medical Support Agency, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While e-cigarettes have been advertised as a “safer” alternative to conventional cigarettes, studies have found potentially harmful ingredients are contained in the product, including nitrosamines, diethylene glycol, and animal carcinogens. Colonel Oh cautioned Airmen against using e-cigarettes as a substitute for smoking.

“Not enough is known about the long-term safety of e-cigarettes to definitely state that they are safe,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration categorizes e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. Regulatory guidance, however, is pending, so e-cigarettes are marketed without any of the restrictions of conventional cigarettes, and they may be sold to minors, advertised widely, and marketed without warning labels.

“There is a real concern that unfettered access to, and marketing of e-cigarettes will create a generation of youths hooked on nicotine– and this trend could lead to greater traditional cigarette or other smokeless tobacco use,” said Oh.

Air Force Instruction 40-102, Tobacco Use, establishes tobacco policy in the Air Force and explicitly includes e-cigarettes under the definition of tobacco, subjecting the product to all the restrictions implemented for cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. The Air Force is the first service to establish an e-cigarette policy.

Although e-cigarettes have passionate devotees, the Air Force position is to treat e-cigarettes as any other tobacco product. Oh said future changes to policy will be made based on the scientific evidence and in consultation with subject matter experts, both within and outside the Department of Defense.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

TRICARE beneficiaries being targeted by call centers

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Defense Health Agency, Office of Program Integrity (DHA-PI) has received a significant number of concerns from our TRICARE beneficiaries regarding unsolicited contact from call centers encouraging them to provide personally identifiable and health information. According to sources, the call center will normally cold call and say, “I am a representative...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

More than meets the eye

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — The word abuse often conjures images of bruises, swollen lips and harsh markings, but abuse is more than meets the eye. It can be much more than physical suffering and can have last...
 
 

Reminder to Airmen: Avoid hemp seed products

WASHINGTON D.C.  — Air Force drug testing officials have long warned military members to avoid products that include hemp seed or hemp oil in order to ensure military readiness. In 2013, news reports on the Air Force’s prohibition of a popular yogurt brand spotlighted a regulation, in effect since the late 1990s. Military members were told to...
 

 

AF’s updated policy further promotes tobacco-free environments

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force has led the military in advancing innovative tobacco control policies, such as the tobacco-free medical campus and prohibiting tobacco use outside “designated tobacco areas.” Now, an updated Air Force instruction, published in March, seeks to further reduce health impacts from smoking, the nation’s leading cause of death. “The Air Force is...
 
 

Preventing sexual assault in the Air Force is our enduring responsibility

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As we begin Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, clear signs point to the progress we have made in combating sexual assault. We can cite encouraging numbers in the areas of prevalence, reporting and convictions; however, this serves as only the beginning of an enduring effort. This effort must continue without pause and we...
 
 

Air Force stands up Task Force Cyber Secure

WASHINGTON, (AFNS) — Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III signed a memorandum on March 20, establishing Task Force Cyber Secure, to address challenges of the cyberspace domain in synchronization, operations and governance within the Air Force and with those organizations it supports. “This task force is fundamental to understanding...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin