I want to thank one of my most loyal blog followers, my mom!, for sending me an article via LAtimes.com. I want to share my thoughts on the article. You can find a link to the full text at the bottom of my post.
As I have discussed on this blog, much regarding the safety and long-term health consequences of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) remains unknown. However, out of concern for public safety and those exposed to second-hand vapor (the byproduct of e-cigarettes), the LA city council banned e-cigarettes in parks, restaurants and most work places. These are the same bans that traditional cigarettes and smokers face.
Beyond the health consequences, one of the proven trends in addiction is that increased prevalence of any given drug follows a period of public perception that a drug is "safe or normal." This was seen with cocaine and marijuana use over the past 30 years. Therefore, many experts fear that advertisements and social normalization of e-cigarettes will lead to a surge of new smokers who would not have otherwise started smoking. One of the effects of banning e-cigarettes in public places is a clear sign that e-cigarettes are not 100% safe and there may be health consequences to you and those around you.
The article goes on to say that 5 states and the District of Columbia already have banned e-cigarettes or restricted their use. One of the arguments for these laws is that a great deal of damage was done to smokers and those exposed to traditional cigarettes while research went on to conclusively prove that cigarettes are dangerous. It seems that elected officials are acting out of an abundance of caution in order to not repeat that mistake while research is ongoing regarding e-cigarettes.
As the federal government has not acted, e-cigarette ads are still allowed on TV. Some of this may be do to lobbying by the e-cigarette manufacturers, many of whom also make traditional cigarettes. However, their lobbying efforts failed to prevent the LA city councils vote yesterday.
I still feel that e-cigarettes can have a role in smoking cessation but this law is in line with my belief that long-term use and the impact on those around us will likely prove to be dangerous to health and well-being.
You can read the full article from here
Matthew Goldenberg, D.O.
Matthew Goldenberg D.O. is double Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO). He is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders and is an addiction specialist for adults in his private practice in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Goldenberg also provides addiction psychiatry consultations to some of the nation’s top residential and outpatient treatment programs in the Los Angeles area and is experienced in the evaluation and treatment of professionals working in safety-sensitive positions. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Goldenberg is an active author, researcher and invited speaker at local and national conferences. He also volunteers his time as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.