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.


 
 

 

Giving life through the Living Donor Program

  As Airmen, it is our responsibility to help each other, as well as our civilian counterparts from day to day. But what if the need was greater than something as simple as a ride to work? What if it was as great as a kidney donation? Located in Sacramento, Calif., The University of California...
 
 

Spiritual doctors support Airmen

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.  — They don’t work in hospitals, wear lab coats or fix broken bones but they can heal hidden wounds. Some people may refer to them as pastors, while others consider them counselors. But these spiritual doctors are known to the military as chaplains. Chaplains work 24/7 to help members cope...
 
 

Don’t throw a fit — get fit

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — It’s a controversial topic that has been brought up by many Airmen — changing the abdominal circumference standards on the Air Force fitness assessment test. After months of debate, it was decided by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III that the standards will stay the same....
 

 

June is Men’s Health Month

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — Each June, a congressional health education program is promoted to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Screenings, health fairs, media appearances and other health education activities are held to raise awareness for male health...
 
 

TRICARE’s breast pump policy updates effective July 1

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — TRICARE’s breast pump policy was recently updated to include coverage of breast pumps and supplies, and breastfeeding counseling. These supplies and services will be retroactively covered as of Dec. 19. To get full details about this important benefit change, as well as an opportunity to ask questions, TRICARE will host a Facebook...
 
 

Drug testing: What’s fact or myth?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — For those who have donned a military service uniform, most have heard the myths and urban legends that surround random drug testing, with the biggest question being “Is it really random?” With facts received from the 56th Fighter Wing Drug Demand Reduction, this article presents the truth about the...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>