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SAMHSA Posits That “E-Cigarettes Pose Risks”

SAMHSA Posits That “E-Cigarettes Pose Risks”

In the summer issue of SAMHSA News, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) presented an article on e-cigarettes and the potential harm they can cause. 


The article mentioned a study conducted by the University of California, San Diego, which “looked specifically at e-cigarette use by individuals with mental health conditions” (SAMHSA, 2014). The researchers found that people with mental health problems had a smoking prevalence 70 percent higher than people without mental health issues. “They were also more likely to have tried e-cigarettes and to be current users of e-cigarettes,” according to SAMHSA (2014). 


“There’s so much we don’t know about e-cigarettes,” stated Douglas Tipperman, MSW, a SAMHSA public health advisor. “They are not harmless. We don’t know the health impact at the individual or the population level” (SAMHSA, 2014). 


One of the growing concerns of e-cigarettes—aside from increasing use by those with mental health conditions—is the growing use among youth. Advertising, flavors, health claims, and the ease of use are all factors that have contributed to the increasing number of youth e-cigarette smokers (SAMHSA, 2014). 


E-cigarette sales remain unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though the FDA did propose a rule that would require e-cigarettes to fit the definition of a tobacco product in April of this year. 


To view the study cited by SAMHSA and published in the BMJ, click here


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2014). E-cigarettes pose risks. Retrieved from http://beta.samhsa.gov/samhsaNewsLetter/Volume_22_Number_3/e_cigarettes/?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Summer2014_eBlast&utm_campaign=SAMHSA_newsletter