New University of Michigan Poll Highlights Parents’ Concerns Over E-Cigarettes
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Nearly half of US parents are concerned that their sons and daughters will use e-cigarettes, and 44 percent of all adults are concerned that the devices will encourage children and teenagers to start using actual tobacco products, according to new research conducted by the University of Michigan.
Furthermore, the Ann Arbor-based university’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health reported that 86 percent of adults are in favor of prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes – battery-operated units that look like actual cigarettes but do not burn tobacco – to anyone under the age of 18.
“E-cigarettes have replaceable cartridges of liquid containing nicotine, which is inhaled as a vapor along with flavors like chocolate, fruit, candy or even tobacco,” the university explained in a statement Wednesday. “Advocates of e-cigarettes say they are a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking and argue it may help smokers to quit.”
However, the poll – which was conducted in November and involved over 2,100 adults over the age of 18 – “shows high levels of concern about e-cigarettes and the possibility that kids who try them could start smoking tobacco,” added poll director Dr. Matthew M. Davis.
[ Watch the Video: Will E-Cigarettes Encourage Kids To Take Up Smoking Tobacco ]
As part of the poll, the participants were presented with arguments both for and against the use of the electronic devices, and were then asked to share their opinions about their use and possible regulations governing them. Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though 26 states have passed laws banning their sale to minors.
In the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 86 percent of adults said that they were aware of e-cigarettes, while just 13 percent said they had ever used one. Forty-eight percent of parents said that they were very or somewhat concerned that their kids would try the devices.
Sixty-five percent of survey participants said that they believed the units should carry health warnings like tobacco cigarettes and other nicotine products, while 88 percent said that they felt manufacturers should be required to conduct studies into their safety. Eighty-six percent were supported banning their sale to people under the age of 18, while 71 percent were in favor of restricting advertising of e-cigarettes on social networking sites.
“E-cigarettes are a relatively new product, with little information about safety or long-term health effects. However, the public is clearly aware of the devices and concerned about their impact, according to this month’s poll results,” explained Davis, a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the university.
“In 2010, the poll also asked about e-cigarettes and at that time only one-third of adults had heard of the product. In this poll, that number jumped to 86 percent,” he added. “We hope the results of this poll spur more discussion about what governments can do to regulate e-cigarettes or restrict sales to minors. After all, taking these steps now will allow us to protect the health of both children and adults in the future.”