The mission of public health departments is to protect health and promote healthy lifestyles but Holly Budge, health promotion deputy director of the Bear River Health Department, said more needs to be known about e-cigarettes before the health department can take an official stand against them as a tool for quitting smoking.
Because they contain nicotine, she sees a health risk with the devices which are gaining popularity rapidly.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk program Monday, Sky View High School student Sierra White said a survey showed that one-third of the young people polled who had not used regular cigarettes had used e-cigarettes.
“That means that they’re interested in e-cigarettes without the cigarette,” White said. “That’s a worry in itself, especially considering that e-cigarettes are illegal to own, use or posses under the age of 19.
“Then also they are three-times more likely to use an e-cigarette than an adult. Currently the rate of e-cigarette use is 5.9% among youth in Utah. So far they’ve doubled since 2011.”
Budge said good news came last Thursday when the federal government proposed banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and to require warning labels along with approval for any new products.