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E-cigarettes and Vaping: What Do Pediatric Nurses Need to Know?

Published:February 25, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2019.02.027
      It seemed like a good idea at the time when electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were introduced to the market in 2006–2007 as a lower risk alternative for adults who smoke tobacco and as an aid in smoking cessation (
      • Binns C.
      • Lee M.K.
      • Low W.Y.
      Children and e-cigarettes: A new threat to health.
      ;
      • Jaber R.M.
      • Mirbolouk M.
      • DeFillippis A.P.
      • Maziak W.
      • Keith R.
      • Payne T.
      • Nasir K.
      Electronic cigarette use, prevalence, associated factors, and pattern by cigarette smoking status in the United States from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 2013–2014.
      ). At the time, because e-cigarettes were not considered tobacco products they were not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (
      • Curran K.A.
      • Burk T.
      • Pitt P.D.
      • Middleman A.B.
      Trends and substance use associations with e-cigarette use in US adolescents.
      ;
      • U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]
      Frequently asked questions: Protecting kids from tobacco.
      ). Coincidentally, just seven years ago the authors of this column suggested the use of e-cigarettes for use in conjunction with smoking cessation programs to help teens “kick the habit” (
      • Goldschmidt K.
      • Hasson C.
      Can technology assist teen smokers to “Kick the Habit”?.
      ). At the time the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (
      • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]
      Cigarette uses among high school students—United States, 1991–2009.
      ) reported that the rates of teen smoking had stopped declining, had leveled off, and that the goal to reduce teen smoking to less than 16% (
      • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
      Healthy people 2010: Understanding and improving health.
      ) had not been achieved. The idea seemed plausible since technology appeals to teens, using e-cigarettes, where the dose of nicotine is lowered over time, in conjunction with a smoking cessation program run by professionals might appeal to this age group. Although altruistic, in 2010, suggesting an intervention using e-cigarettes may have been too late. At the same time e-cigarettes were being marketed to teens at candy counters in convenience stores and became available in hundreds of different flavors.
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