Letter to the editor: tobacco products and youth

ecigaretteEmerging tobacco products gaining popularity among youth

Increases in e-cigarette and hookah use show need for increased monitoring and prevention

Though they are illegal for kids under 18 to purchase, emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and hookah cigarettes are quickly gaining popularity among middle- and high-school students, according to a report in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Local schools concur. Chris Powell, Mammoth High School interim principal, reports that several students have been found to be using these products on campus. Because they resemble fancy pens and do not burn, it is a challenge to monitor. School administration reports that some schools are burdened with the problem to an even greater extent.

E Cigarettes have flavors, nicotine and other chemicals suspended in glycerin and propylene glycol.  The cigarette emits vapor in much the same way as an asthma inhaler. According to UCSF, even though it is claimed to assist in tobacco cessation, research studies show that the quit rate from tobacco is no greater than for nicotine patches or gum.

In recent presentations to middle and high school parent organizations, Nancy Mahannah, of the Mono County Health Department noted that marketing of these devices resembles ads for cigarettes from the 1950’s – popularity, beauty, social acceptance, less harm. Both Eastern Sierra Unified and Mammoth School Districts have incorporated the products into their tobacco policy, stating that the devices will be considered drug delivery devices when found on campus.

Electronic cigarettes, hookahs, cigars and certain other new types of tobacco products are not currently subject to FDA regulation, though that is in the plan. Mono and Inyo County Health Officer, Rick Johnson, is concerned about tobacco use increasing among youth, “We have worked for 20 years and our smoking rates have declined, lung cancer and heart disease have declined.  How instead of smoking, it is ‘vaping’.  The tobacco industry is like an amoeba, it keeps morphing its deadly products for financial gain.”

Nancy Mahannah
Health Promotion Division Manager



10 Responses to Letter to the editor: tobacco products and youth

  1. Wayne Deja November 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I’ve been a smoker for over 40 years,and recently started using the e-cigarette…..not only is it helping A LOT to cut down from almost a two-pack a day smoking habit to less than 10 cigarettes per day,but also saving me a lot of $$$ by doing so.With myself and many smokers,some of the “habit” is holding the instrument in your hand,and the plum of smoke you get used to inhaling and blowing out…not just the nicotine your body needs…The flavor packs that can be ordered range in nicotine content ….with some containing 0 %….I tried all the other things hoping to quit,or at least cut way back….the patches,the pills,the gum…..nothing worked…maybe these “research studies “say the e-cigs are no better when used to cut back or quit,but for me,it sure did…..I purchased a better e-cig kit this week,and will no doubt quit smoking regular cigarettes all-together by the end of the year…maybe if your young and don’t smoke at all,and then start smoking e-cigarettes,it’s not a good idea,but as far as being a long-time smoker hoping to cut way back and eventually quitting the cigarette habit all-together,the e-cig DOES work….period….maybe the “experts” don’t think so,but in my first-hand knowledge,it does.

    • erik simpson November 15, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Good for you, Wayne, and good luck!

  2. Trouble November 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Sounds like the kids are pulling the same type of crap we used to.

    • Pedro November 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      T, you might be right, but I can’t seem to remember much about HIGH school….

  3. Ken Warner November 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Never smoked.

    E-cigs are not really smoking. No tar and ash inhaled into lungs. Also, there is some indication that nicotine may help people with cognitive dysfunctions like Alzheimer’s.

    I don’t know. I don’t have an opinion on this. But the more you tell the kids not to do something, the more they will want to do it.

    • Trouble November 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

      You make a good point there Ken. But our Madd mothers keep nagging.

  4. TypicalGovernment November 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    E-cigs are helping smokers quit, these press releases are put out for only one reason “job justification”. The government is worried about any threat to their revenue, the don’t have their hooks in E-cigs yet. If you look at smoking surveys California is the second lowest nationwide smoker percentage behind Utah and the percentages continue to decline. These government folks want that money, keep that spin going for those grants and programs. No money = no program = no job. On a positive note, congratulations Wayne on reducing your smoking, keep it up!

  5. Wayne Deja November 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks,people……still not easy….after 43 years,but it’s do-able now….I can remember FOX NEWS’ own Geraldo Rivera once stating that quitting smoking is “easy to do” for most,even after years of nicotine addiction……and him saying illegal drugs and alcohol are much harder to quit,in fact “impossible” to ever quit craving them totally…..again,not true…..in fact,just the opposite……quitting smoking is MUCH harder to do ,or even cut down on, than any illegal drug I was ever using or abusing in my lifetime….(and in my earlier years, that included quite a laundry-list) that I was able to walk away from without much of a problem…A friend of mine in Washington State turned me on to the e-cig…he’d been smoking from the age of 14 to 64….50 years…..and it took him about 3 months to become a TOTAL non-smoker….If anyone out there also wants to give it a try,and if Benett will allow it,I can post the company that sells this product I am using now that is a LOT better than the previous e-cigs I was buying and trying…a big difference with this one I’m using now.

    • Benett Kessler November 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Please do.

      • Wayne Deja November 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

        The two I’ve gotten are the big steel one called “Tesla”…more for when your at home…the other is called the “E-go starter kit”…more the size of a cigar and able to keep in your pocket when your outside and working…The Testa costs about $75.00…The E-GO starter kit costs around $65.00…I started with the “Smoov” kit,but it’s nowhere near as good as the Tesla or the E-GO kits…Both these companies have web-sites where you can order the kits,and the accessories needed….getting started costs about $100.00 with the kits,fluids,cartridges,etc.Hope others wanting to quit try these out and are successful !!


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