Health & Safety

February 21, 2014

Electronic cigarette use increasing among Airmen

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Electronic cigarette use is becoming a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes, but the upward trend is becoming a concern for Air Force 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,” said Col. (Dr.) John Oh, the chief of health promotion at the Air Force Medical Support Agency, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But e-cigarettes use is rapidly growing among youths and have been used by 10 percent of high school students.”

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. 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. They may also 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,” Oh said.

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 Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Weapons School welcomes new commandant

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Col. Michael Drowley (right), U.S. Air Force Weapons School commandant, accepts the USAFWS guidon from Brig. Gen. Christopher Short, 57th Wing commander, during the USAFWS’s cha...
 
 

Air Force moves to bring about RPA mission relief

The Air Force is pursuing a range of options that will, in combination with a reset in the number of sustainable combat air patrols, help alleviate long-term stress on Remotely Piloted Aircraft crews. Initial efforts were announced by the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff earlier this year; new initiatives include incentive pay increases...
 
 

Quiet pioneer wanted to fly

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Maj. Gen. Dewey K. K. Lowe didn’t set out to be a pioneer; like many of his generation, he just wanted to fly. Born to immigrant parents in 1924 in Oakland, California, his father died when he was just two, leaving his now-widowed mother to raise three small children....
 

 

US Embassy Singapore, AF team up for diplomatic success

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, recently passed away at the age of 91. Given Lee’s stature and standing, all of us at U.S. Embassy Singapore expected a large state funeral and a high-level U.S. delegation would be named and arriving soon; the funeral was just a few short days away. It didn’t...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

WASHINGTON — The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force:...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Frankenphone: Creech Airman improves RPA communications

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Staff Sgt. Marion is a 42nd Attack Squadron sensor operator at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Marion was recognized by Air Force leadership for constructing a device dubbe...
 




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