Atlanta chapter learns the latest about e-cigarettes

John Andrew "Andy'' Miller

About John Andrew "Andy'' Miller

Andy Miller (@gahealthnews) is the editor and publisher of the nonprofit Georgia Health News. The former health care reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a member of AHCJ's board of directors and leads the association's Atlanta chapter.

A $2 billion market, sultry Jenny McCarthy ads, lounges dedicated to “vaping.”

Members of the Atlanta AHCJ chapter heard about these and other e-cigarette trends on May 21 from Michael Eriksen, Sc.D., dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, and Sonya Collins, an Atlanta freelancer who won a 2013 Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her article on e-cigarettes.

 Their riveting talk touched on the rapid growth and youthful appeal of e-cigarettes.

Collins spoke about her experience in interviewing users at a vaping lounge. Many have started on e-cigarettes to quit their tobacco habit, she said.

Eriksen, who is leading research at Georgia State on the e-cigarette phenomenon, discussed the lack of regulation on these nicotine-laden products. E-cigarettes are less damaging to health than regular cigarettes, but the long-term effects are unknown, he said.

Big Tobacco has entered the market, Eriksen noted, and the billion-dollar industry is expected to grow exponentially. He foresees eventual regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes.

Studying the trend has been a fascinating experience, said Eriksen, who is a former director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the CDC.

1 thought on “Atlanta chapter learns the latest about e-cigarettes

  1. Bob Ray

    Less damaging to health? How about zero damage to health. There is absolutely no study showing any harm to adults using ecigs properly. On the other hand just last week we had a very well done scientific survey in Britain showing ecigs are more likely to help people quit smoking than either nicotine patches or going cold turkey. I ask, when was the last time the FDA decided to regulate a product with zero evidence of harm? Hundreds of thousands of people have tried them with no published medical reports of any serious adverse effects. This whole anti cig campaign was begun years ago by behavioral smoking cessation psychologists who viewed ecigs as a threat to their income. They began convincing politicians who have banned ecigs in public in some towns while claiming to protect public health. All without a shred of scientific evidence, with the exception perhaps of on rat study showing an effect at high nicotine doses on adolescent rat brains. Any health journalist with an ounce of experience knows how convincing one animal study is. The answer should be: not convincing at all.

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