Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sticking to the Facts On E-Cigarettes & Nicotine Medicines

A dentist colleague notes that the American Dental Association was one of 28 medical societies that signed a letter to the FDA in opposition to a change in the deeming date for e-cigarettes (here):  “Changing this date would significantly weaken FDA’s ability to take prompt action to protect children from thousands of fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes and cigars, including products in flavors such as cotton candy, gummy bear and fruit punch that clearly appeal to kids.”

Ironically, nicotine medicines also come in appealing flavors, like cinnamon surge, fruit chill, fresh mint, spearmint burst and white ice mint (here).  Evidently, marketers of both product categories view flavoring as a necessary and effective device to attract adult smokers.

While e-cigarettes are often tagged with groundless or exaggerated claims of health threats, my colleague cites specific health issues associated with nicotine medicines, as reported by a reputable clinical drug information service:

Adverse Effects that Occur Greater than 10% of the Time:

Headache (18% to 26%), Mouth/throat irritation (66%), dyspepsia (18%), cough (32%), rhinitis (23%).

Adverse Effects that Occur 1% to 10% of the Time:

Acne (3%), Dysmenorrhea (3%), flatulence (4%), gum problems (4%), diarrhea, hiccup, nausea, taste disturbance, tooth abrasions, back pain (6%), arthralgia (5%), jaw/neck pain, nasal burning (nasal spray), sinusitis, withdrawal symptoms

Adverse Effects that Occur Less than 1% of the Time:

Allergy, amnesia, aphasia, bronchitis, bronchospasm, edema, migraine, numbness, pain, purpura, rash, sputum increased, vision abnormalities, xerostomia

Adverse Effects For Which the Frequency is Not Defined:

Concentration impaired, depression, dizziness, headache, insomnia, nervousness, pain, aphthous stomatitis, constipation, cough, diarrhea, gingival bleeding, glossitis, hiccups, jaw pain, nausea, salivation increased, stomatitis, taste perversion, tooth abrasions, ulcerative stomatitis, xerostomia, rash, application site reaction, local edema, local erythema, Arthralgia, myalgia, paresthesia, sinusitis, allergic reaction, diaphoresis.

Any of these adverse effects could be needlessly exaggerated to condemn nicotine medicines, but they aren’t.  Nicotine can be consumed safely in gum, patches or vapor products.

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