Vaping shops will lose in Michigan's e-cigarette ban, but is public health worth it?
Dr. Daniel Ouellette, a pulmonologist and senior staff physician at Henry Ford Hospital, applauded the e-cigarette ban. "I think that this is a step forward, and I’m really happy to see that my home state is at the forefront of taking this initiative," said Ouellette, who also is an associate professor at Wayne State University's School of Medicine. "For me, as a lung specialist, I think that the only good thing in your lungs is air." Ouellette said the dangers of vaping still aren't fully known. "We know with cigarettes it can take 15- 20 years or more after having started smoking to have an increased risk of cancer," he said. "If we would extrapolate that same kind of data, it’s going to be a couple of decades before we know this for sure about e-cigarettes. "What we do know is that there are some potential carcinogens in the vapor products. We do know that at least potentially there's a risk. Who would want to be 20 years down the road from now and be faced with an epidemic of lung cancer because we didn't act to control and study e-cigarettes?" But he said it's clear that e-cigarettes are highly addictive — and that's especially true for young people whose brains are more susceptible to addiction — and the contents of the e-cigarette cartridges may contain chemicals that are harmful when heated. "One tank or canister of solution for an e-cigarette contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes," Ouellette said. "So people who use these e-cigarettes are going to get addicted to nicotine. That, by itself, is an adverse consequence. Not only will they be addicted to e-cigarettes but also potentially to other tobacco products. "In addition, these e-cigarettes contain propellants, liquids ... in which the nicotine is dissolved. ... There's also the ability to put in other things," such as flavors, cannabinoid (CBD) products and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. "So there are a great variety of dangers that can be posed by the use of these e-cigarettes," he said.
September 6, 2019