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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Memorial Day weekend safety tips

Memorial Day weekend is coming up, for most service members that means getting on the road and traveling for the first long weekend of the summer. During this holiday weekend more people will be traveling, which makes it import...
 
 

Peer-to-peer service aims to provide counseling support

WASHINGTON – Starting this summer, the Defense Department will offer an additional counseling service to help military service members, transitioning troops and family members deal with a host of issues before they become crises. Peer-to-peer support, which will be available through Military OneSource, will offer assistance from counselors who have at least a master’s degree...
 
 

Honest answers to sexual assault myths

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to address three persistent myths regarding the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. These myths include a commander’s ability to start, stop or otherwise hinder a sexual assault investigation; what agencies can...
 

 
Donor_pict

Military spouse seeks donor for kidney transplant

Looking at Tawanna Clapp you wouldn’t guess that she spends 21 hours a week on dialysis. Tawanna was diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis, FSGS, in 1996 during a routine physical for college. According to the National Kidn...
 
 

Enroll newborns in TRICARE within 60 days of birth

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Service members are reminded to enroll their newborns into TRICARE within 60 days of birth or 120 days in overseas areas. When newborns are not enrolled within the first 60 days of birth, this can cause claims processing issues and parents incur costly out-of-pocket expenses. Members who want their...
 
 

Tobacco-use AFI changes

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — Air Force Instruction 40-102, Tobacco Free Living, was recently updated to give Airmen a simplified definition of what is defined as tobacco, as well as additional regulations for smoking in privately owned vehicles. According to the AFI, tobacco includes all products that may be configured to deliver nicotine, including but not...
 




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