American Heart Association (AHA) issues guidelines for electronic cigarette use

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Guidelines Presented for Electronic Cigarette Use
Guidelines Presented for Electronic Cigarette Use

(HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed regarding electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use and published online Aug. 24 as an American Heart Association (AHA) policy statement in Circulation.

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues reviewed the latest science relating to e-cigarettes, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The authors note that e-cigarette use has increased at an unprecedented rate, which presents an opportunity for harm reduction if they are used as a replacement for cigarettes. However, there are concerns related to e-cigarette use with respect to normalization of smoking, sustained dual use, and initiation or maintenance of nicotine addiction. As such, the AHA supports the inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoke-free air laws. In addition, they support the inclusion of e-cigarettes in state and federal regulations that prohibit the sale of cigarettes to minors, as well as marketing and advertising to minors. The AHA supports effective U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use should form part of tobacco screening questions, and clinicians should be educated about e-cigarettes. Surveillance on e-cigarette use should be improved and increased, and further research should be encouraged into e-cigarette use, characteristics, and long-term health effects.

"It's critical that we rigorously examine the long-term impact of this new technology on public health, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, and pay careful attention to the effect of e-cigarettes on adolescents," Bhatnagar said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry and suppliers of e-cigarettes.

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