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(Toledo News Now) -
The controversy seems endless when it comes to Electronic Cigarettes. Either you love them or you hate them. The debate over the e-cigarettes started well after they were invented in the 60's with what's in it and the health effects at the center of all the attention.
The battery powered device looks like a regular cigarette and like traditional cigarettes they contain nicotine. However when you use a e-cigarette, a liquid inside that includes nicotine is heated and turns into vapor you inhale. In fact the vapor resembles cigarette smoke.
Back in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration took a look inside several e-cigarettes, and found they were made up of water, alcohol, nicotine, and in one instance Diethylene Glycol. which is a chemical used in anti-freeze. The ingredient prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a health warning.
In response, a clinical researcher from Drexel University conducted his own study of e-cigarette contents, and found that the FDA's trace of diethylene glycol was only found in a single sample of early technology.
Still, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine along with 39 other State Attorney General's want the FDA to regulate E-cigarettes.
"A kid theoretically who's 7 or 8 can walk in and buy an e-cigarette today. That's crazy, absolutely crazy," Dewine said.
Dewine say e-cigarettes are viewed like a tobacco product to the FDA even though they contain no tobacco. Dewine says there's no oversight to ensure they're safe and that's why he believes they could be sold to minors.
Most stores will not sell an e-cigarette to anyone under the age of eighteen. But on-line all you need is a credit card to purchase e-cigarette.
Early studies by the University of Athens at Greece show variations in the early on exactly how e-cigarettes can affect your body. Scientists at the university studied 32 volunteers last year---eight of whom were lifetime non smokers and 24 were current regular smokers.
The study showed some of them had healthy lungs, while others lived with asthma or C-O-P-D (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The participants were asked to use an e-cigarette for 10 minutes, inhaling the vapors into their lungs, while the scientists measured airway resistance.
The researchers found that using an e-cigarette caused an instant increase in airway resistance that lasted for 10 minutes in the majority of the participants. Here's the breakdown:
Non-smokers, using an e-cigarette for ten minutes raised their airway resistance around 20%--- the researchers described this as a "significant increase".
Current regular smokers - using a e-cigarette for ten minutes-- well the test revealed a rise in airway resistance nearly 40%
Lastly those with C-O-P-D and Asthma--- experienced no significant increase in airway resistance from using one e-cigarette for ten minutes.
Dr. Matt Roth with Promedica isn't swayed by the findings. Dr.Roth believes e-cigarettes are still highly addictive.
"It's hiding behind some of the research and the research isn't there," Roth said.
Still, e-cigarette users remain steadfast in their belief in 'vaping'.
"I've personally gotten my handful of neighbors and a lot of friends to quit smoking using Electronic-Cigarettes," said user Chuck Meyer.
"Smoking is responsible for 400,000 deaths every year," said e-cigarette advocate Lisa Bell. "There hasn't been a death associated with vaping, and there probably wont be."
Right now the FDA has looked into claims of having e-cigarettes regulated, however the health agency hasn't given a timeline on when this will happen. Business owners like Josh Harris who runs the Smoke Revolt shop in Toledo thinks all the press on e-cigarettes is sending the wrong information.
"People enjoy this industry. It's something that's helping them achieve a goal," Harris.
For more information on the regulation of e-cigarettes you can watch a full interview with Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine. As well as a study done by the Centers for Disease Control on E-cigarette use among middle and high school students. Learn more here.