More research is required over the potential dangers of e-cigarettes, regulators say.
Although manufacturers can apply for product licensing through the UK’s MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), no licensed e-cigarettes are reportedly being marketed.
It’s the long-term health effects that remain the biggest unknown. The government regulators have identified that, still, further research into e-cig use is needed to be able to have a clearer understanding as to the risks and / or the potential benefits when compared to traditional smoking.
Some of the focuses of the continued research includes the long-term health effects, product designs and marketing, and use of e-cigarettes by young people. There are growing and understandable concerns that product designs are targeting (or at least appealing to) younger audiences, and ‘vaping’ has become somewhat of a problem for underage non-smokers.
Another focus is on the addictiveness of the nicotine delivered by e-cigs as well. It’s thought that the addictiveness of tobacco cigarettes may be enhanced by the compounds in the smoke in addition to the nicotine, and as e-cigarettes have evolved, and the delivery of the nicotine in e-cigs has improved, the “addictiveness” may be increasing as well.
All in all, the long-term impact remains the constant unknown that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. We simply don’t know how vaping can affect bodily tissues (primarily lung tissue) after years of use.
What is clear is that e-cigarette companies need to do as much as they can to send clear messages about the addictiveness of nicotine and the harm nicotine can cause. E-cigs are intended to be used by smokers and former smokers with some desire to reduce or quit the use of tobacco smoking. It’s thought that there may be some e-cig manufacturers who aren’t quite abiding by the laws and regulations they’re meant to, and until tighter regulations can come into force, people may well be left exposed to unnecessary risks.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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