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E-cigarettes: Considerations for the otolaryngologist

1/8/2015 - International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology

PURPOSE: To review the literature regarding electronic cigarettes and discuss potential implications and need for advocacy for the pediatric otolaryngologist. BACKGROUND: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine-containing vapors via inhalation. Research on the health related consequences of e-cigarettes is ongoing and safety has yet to be established. E-cigarettes are not presently under the regulation of any national governing body with wide accessibility to minors. Use of these products has substantially increased since arrival to the market, particularly within the adolescent population. These products are marketed via various platforms including television, Internet and social media. Hundreds of flavors are offered and e-cigarettes are packaged in various colors. Not only are the ill health effects and addictive quality of nicotine concerning, these products have the potential to serve as a gateway for minors to tobacco use. APPLICATIONS: The relationship between tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and otolaryngology specific diseases has well been defined. As use of electronic cigarettes increases, pediatric otolaryngologists should be aware of the ongoing literature regarding these products and to be prepared to counsel families accordingly. CONCLUSIONS: The use of e-cigarettes among teenagers, potential implications of secondhand vapor exposure from parents and friends, and concerns this may encourage adolescents to utilize conventional tobacco products needs to be considered.
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