CDC report calls e-cigarette use an ‘emerging public health concern’
WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWPSF)–April 3, 2014. Following a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found a dramatic increase in calls to poison control centers as a result of e-cigarette and liquid nicotine poisonings, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to promptly complete its review of a proposed rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which would expand the FDA’s regulatory authority over tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
“This week – April 1 – marks six months since the Office of Management and Budget first received a proposed rule to expand the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority to include e-cigarettes,” Durbin said. “In those six months, my colleagues and I have repeatedly called for a prompt, thorough review of this rule so that we can start protecting our children from these candy-flavored poisons. Today’s report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers evidence of the tragic, negative health outcomes that can occur when e-cigarettes and other nicotine products aren’t regulated. Given the mounting evidence calling into question these products’ safety, a response is overdue.”
Today’s CDC report found that the total number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette use have risen dramatically over the last four years. In addition, calls involving e-cigarette use as a proportion of total calls involving either e-cigarettes or cigarettes have also risen – from 0.3% in September 2010 to 41.7% in February 2014.
Last week, in light of mounting evidence that the emerging market of new nicotine delivery products poses serious public health and consumer protection issues, Durbin and six other U.S. Senators called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move quickly to regulate the rapidly evolving market of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. More information on the Senators letter to the FDA is available here.
A New York Times reportfound a dramatic increase in accidental nicotine poisonings, notably among children. The article cited the National Poison Data Systems which recorded 1,351 accidental nicotine poisonings from electronic devices in 2013 – a 300% increase from 2012. Of the cases in 2013, 365 were referred to hospitals, triple the previous year’s number. In addition to health risk posed by the nicotine in these products, the New York Times article cites quality control and manufacturing dangers.
The CDC released a report last year highlighting the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes – or “e-cigs” – which have more than doubled in use among high school students since the 2011-2012 school year. According to the report, 1.8 million middle and high school students nationwide have tried e-cigarettes, and over 75% of them have also smoked traditional cigarettes. More information on that report is available here.
In December 2013, Durbin, and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-RI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to promptly complete its review of a proposed rule from the FDA, which would expand the FDA’s regulatory authority over tobacco products. A copy of that letter is available here.
In April 2013, Durbin and U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jack Reed (D-RI) called on the FDA to issue “deeming regulations” asserting regulatory authority over tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes, and to restrict the sale, distribution and marketing of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products to children and young adults. A copy of that letter is available here.