CHICAGO, Illinois – The American Lung Association is very concerned about the increasing rates of vaping and the failure of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on the false quit smoking claims made by e-cigarette manufacturers.
The Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. While the e-cigarette industry tells smokers falsely that switching to their products is safer and can help them quit, the American Lung Association is urging the FDA to reject these false quit smoking claims, and is also urging smokers to “Quit, Don’t Switch.”
Misinformation about e-cigarettes is rampant and their use, especially among youth has become what the U.S. Surgeon General has declared an “epidemic.” E-cigarettes are tobacco products, and the Lung Association has been a leader in helping people avoid and quit using tobacco for decades. Here are some straight facts about e-cigarettes:
- E-cigarettes are tobacco products. No tobacco product is safe, and that includes e-cigarettes. Recent hospitalizations and deaths related to vaping underscore the fact that vaping is [in fact] harmful.
- Switching to e-cigarettes does not mean quitting. Quitting means ending your addiction to nicotine, which can be very difficult.
- The FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.
- Research shows that e-cigarettes contain dangerous metals and toxic chemicals including propylene glycol, heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead, diacetyl (which can cause a dangerous lung disease often referred to as “popcorn lung”), acrolein (which causes irreversible lung disease) and formaldehyde, known to cause cancer.
- Get the facts at Lung.org/ecigs
“One of the biggest problems with e-cigarettes is that many people have switched to e-cigarettes believing it will help them quit tobacco products, which it doesn’t,” says Albert A Rizzo, M.D., American Lung Association chief medical officer. “Many of them become dual users, meaning they smoke cigarettes when they can and use vaping devices at other times.
“E-cigarettes have not been found to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit,” Dr Rizzo said. “They were designed to appeal to people who wanted to use something besides a cigarette, or in addition to a cigarette. Instead of helping smokers quit, e-cigarettes have rapidly created another generation addicted to tobacco products by marketing products that appeal to kids, including flavored products like gummy bear, unicorn blood and bubble gum – even apple juice.”
E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. According to a 2018 CDC study, one of the primary reasons teens use these products is because the candy and fruit flavors are appealing to them.
For years, the American Lung Association has been urging the FDA to crack down on these unproven quit smoking claims made by the e-cigarette industry. These ongoing claims have made it more confusing for smokers to know what to do when they’re ready to quit.
The American Lung Association believes everyone who uses tobacco products can quit using methods that are proven safe and effective by the FDA, including the seven FDA-approved medications and individual, phone counseling (available by calling 1-800 QUIT NOW and 1-800-LUNG-USA) and group counseling (such as the Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking® program). Learn more at Lung.org/quit-dont-switch.
The Lung Association also has information and resources to help parents and schools steer kids clear of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, including N-O-T (Not On Tobacco), The Vape Talk and INDEPTH.