Samir Soneji had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed to talk about the potential risks of vaping at the first US E-Cigarette Summit in Washington, DC this past May. His first clue was the booing. As a professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Soneji studies how gaps in tobacco regulation affect health. Two years before the conference, he’d reported in JAMA Pediatrics that young people who smoke hookah or use “snus,” a form of moist smokeless tobacco, are twice as likely to try cigarettes as kids who don’t. He suspected that e-cigarettes, with kid-friendly flavors like “Cinnamon Roll” and “Peanut Butter Cup,” carried a similar risk. And that’s exactly what he and several colleagues discovered in a recent review of studies that tested that possibility. Evidence that tobacco companies targeted teens and nonsmokers with candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes prompted the Food and Drug Administration to ban them in 2009 under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. But those restrictions do not apply to e-cigarettes and hookahs, even though the FDA extended its authority in August 2016 to include all forms of tobacco. Key points The e-cigarette market is expected… Read full this story
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