Tobacco is one of the biggest public health threats around the world, killing more than 8 million people a year (WHO, 2020). Cigarettes are the most common way that people use tobacco in the United States and globally. While cigarettes are the most common way people use tobacco, many people use Other Tobacco Products (OTPs). OTPs are a growing category that makes tobacco use accessible to consumers in spite of cigarette tax increases and an increase in smoke-free policies. OTPs include e-cigarettes and vaping devices, among other products. There are claims these products help with smoking cessation. But OTPs are not FDA-approved cessation aids and there is little scientific evidence that shows that they help smokers successfully quit smoking. Their use can result in health problems of their own. Moreover, dual use of cigarettes and OTPs is increasing, which may diminish any potential benefits of cutting back on traditional cigarettes (GHW, 2020).
Electronic Cigarettes and Vapor Products
Electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or vapor products as they are commonly known, are nicotine-delivery devices that produce an aerosol by heating a liquid (usually containing nicotine) that users breathe into their lungs. These battery-powered devices usually include a battery component, a vaporizer or atomizer, and a cartridge with a mouthpiece.
Vape pens and e-cigarettes are the latest examples of how the tobacco industry targets youth to gain replacement smokers through developing and marketing of new products. E-cigs are attractive to teens because of enticing flavors, cheap prices, easy purchase access, and ease of concealment. The nicotine delivered by these products creates addiction. The US Surgeon General, in 2018, urged for immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.
In 2019, 43.7% of Nevada high school students admitted having used e-cigarettes. Nevada middle school students admitting to using e-cigarettes and vapes in the past 30 days increased from 6.7% in 2017 to 12.0% in 2019 (UNR, 2020).
SB263 passed in the 2019 Nevada Legislative session, helps to fund statewide and local efforts to address the increasing rates of youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction.
NTPC has protected youth from nicotine addiction in the following ways:
- Helped to shape laws in Nevada to add use of e-cigarettes to the NCIAA
- Assisted with instituting restrictions on age of purchase of e-cigarettes and implementing taxes on e-cigarettes (youth use decreases when price increases)
- Educated youth, parents and other adults statewide about dangers of e-cigarettes and how youth can get help quitting
Coming soon: NTPC’s updated position statement on e-cigarettes.
Other Tobacco Products
For more information on OTPs, please visit the website of one of NTPC’s member organizations: Southern Nevada Health District Other Tobacco Products.