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原文标题:The Vape Debate: What You Need to Know


By Regina Boyle Wheeler

雷吉纳·波伊尔·惠勒(Regina Boyle Wheeler)

E-cigarettes: Are they a safe way for smokers to stop or a gateway to getting kids hooked on a habit that's known to cause deadly diseases of the heart and lungs as well as cancer?


Public health experts and tobacco researchers are trying to find out. So far, results are mixed.


One thing is certain. They're not hard to find. Stores selling them -- called "vape shops" -- are everywhere across the country.


In the summer of 2016, new rules about their sale went into effect. So you have to be 18 to buy them and show an ID if you're under 27.

有关出售蒸汽电子烟相关的新法规于2016年夏正式生效。 法规明确规定如年龄在18岁以上27岁以下的人需购买蒸汽电子烟,须出示相关身份证明。

The Basics


E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that can look like a real cigarette or pen. Some with refillable tanks look a bit different. There are hundreds of brands, and they're sometimes marketed as a way to get your nicotine fix without the danger of cigarettes.


They all work the same basic way:


*They have containers filled with liquid that's usually made of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.


*A heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag.


Using an e-cig is called "vaping."


Are They Safe?


Most contain the chemical nicotine, which is addictive. When you stop using it, you can go into withdrawal and feel depressed and crabby. Nicotine isn't good for people with heart problems. And some initial research shows it may hurt your arteries.

大部分电子烟都含有尼古丁,身体会对尼古丁产生依赖。一旦停止使用,人会变得消沉暴躁。 心脏有问题的人不适合使用尼古丁。 此外,有初步研究显示尼古丁会对血管造成损伤。

It can also:


*Harm the developing brains of kids and could affect memory and attention.


*Damage unborn babies. Pregnant women shouldn't use anything with nicotine.


But the concerns go beyond nicotine alone.


Some brands contain chemicals including formaldehyde -- often used in building materials -- and another ingredient used in antifreeze that can cause cancer.


Flavors in e-cigs also raise red flags. Some use a buttery-tasting chemical called diacetyl, which is often added to foods like popcorn. When it's inhaled, it can be dangerous.


Diacetyl is a well-known harmful chemical, which, among other things, causes a lung disease called 'popcorn lung,' says Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association.

艾丽卡·斯瓦德(Erika Sward)是美国肺脏协会(ALA)下属的国家政策倡议组织的助理副会长,她说:“双乙酰酮会造成闭塞性细支气管炎,即所谓的爆米花胃。”

Are They Safer Than Smoking?


E-cigarettes aren't thought of as 100% safe, but most experts think they're less dangerous than cigarettes, says Neal Benowitz, MD, a nicotine researcher at the University of California at San Francisco. Cigarette smoking kills almost half a million people a year in the United States. Most of the harm comes from the thousands of chemicals that are burned and inhaled in the smoke, he explains.

加州大学旧金山分校的尼古丁研究专员尼尔·贝诺维茨(Neal Benowitz)博士称:虽然电子烟并非完全无害,但大部分专家认为它们比卷烟危害小。 在美国,每年因吸食卷烟而丧命的人将近五十万。 他解释道:卷烟中含有成千种化学物,这些化学物燃烧产生的烟雾吸入人体后,对人体的损害是极大的。

E-cigs don't burn, so people aren't as exposed to those toxins. A 2015 expert review from Public Health England estimated e-cigs are 95% less harmful than the real thing.

相对来说,电子烟不会燃烧,所以人们也就不会接触到有毒物质。 英国公共卫生部2015年公布的一项专家报告评估了电子烟的危害,认为电子烟的危害甚至不到卷烟的5%。

That figure is controversial and might be a little high, says Kenneth Warner, a tobacco policy researcher at the University of Michigan. But, he adds, "The worst critics of e-cigarettes would probably argue they're a half to two-thirds less dangerous. But from a practical view, they're probably on the order of 80% to 85% less dangerous, at least."

密歇根大学烟草政策研究员肯尼斯·华纳(Kenneth Warner)博士称:这一数据存在一定的争议, 那些强烈反对使用电子烟的人可能会说这个比例至少是25%到50%; 而实际上这个比例至多是15%到20%。

Some states and communities that ban smoking in public places also ban vaping. But, Warner says, while the danger from secondhand vapor isn't zero, "it's probably very low."

部分已在公共场所禁烟的州和社区也禁止在公共场所使用蒸汽电子烟。 华纳表示虽然二手电子烟并非无害,但“危害十分低。”

Do They Help Smokers Quit?


We don't have the definitive study on that, Warner says. "My reading of the evidence is that it is quite convincing that e-cigarettes are helping some people quit smoking."

华纳说:“目前并没有确切的研究表明电子烟有助于戒烟, 但有一些颇具说服力的证据证明电子烟确实有助于部分人戒断烟瘾。”

Caren Kagan Evans, 56, of Washington DC, is one of those people. She started smoking when she was 13-years-old. Over the years, Evans tried to quit by using the nicotine patch, gum, and even hypnosis.

现年56岁的华盛顿居民凯伦·卡根·埃文斯(Caren Kagan Evans)就是一个很好的例子。 埃文斯13岁开始吸烟,尝试过各种方法都没能戒断烟瘾,其中包括尼古丁贴、口香糖,甚至催眠疗法。

Vaping worked in a month, and she's been off cigarettes for more than two years. "I'm breathing, sleeping, and eating much better since I started vaping. My 'smoker's laugh' went away, and I no longer smell like an ashtray."

她使用电子烟仅一个月就戒断了烟瘾,距今已有两年之久。 她说:“自从用了蒸汽电子烟,呼吸、睡眠和饮食习惯改善了很多,吸烟者的标志性微笑也没有,再也不用担心自己一身烟臭了。”

But Evans' story is the exception, not the rule.


If there was good evidence that people were using e-cigarettes just to quit smoking, there would be wide support, Benowitz says. "The problem is most of the e-cigarette use in the U.S. is dual use with cigarettes." People use e-cigs in places or situations where they can't smoke, like in a restaurant, but continue lighting up when they can, he explains.


Sward points out that according to the FDA, there's no evidence any e-cigarette is safe and effective at helping smokers quit. She suggests talking to your doctor about medications and other strategies that are proven stop-smoking tools.


The American Heart Association says e-cigs should only be used as a last resort way to quit.


Do They Lead Kids to Smoke?


Critics of e-cigarettes fear that vaping will get kids hooked on nicotine and that they'll "graduate" to cigarettes when they want a bigger kick, Warner says.


Two recent studies suggest a link.


A 2016 study in the journal Pediatrics found that teens that never smoked but used e-cigs were six times more likely to try cigarettes compared to kids who don't vape.


A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015 found a connection too. Researchers surveyed 2,500 Los Angeles high school students who had never smoked. They found that kids who used e-cigs were more likely than non-users to smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products over the next year.

2015年发表在《美国医学会杂志》(Journal of the American Medical Association)上的以项研究也有类似发现。 研究人员调查了2500名来自洛杉矶的的中学生,这些学生从不抽烟。 他们发现使用过电子烟的学生来年更可能转向吸食卷烟或其他烟草制品。

But, CDC stats on teen smoking show that while use of e-cigs went up to 24% in 2015, cigarette smoking dropped to an historic low -- to just under 11%.


The trend is reassuring, Benowitz says.




The FDA is regulating e-cigarettes and tobacco products such as hookah tobacco and cigars in the same way as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Key rules include:

FDA对电子烟和烟草制品(如水烟和雪茄)的管控力度和对卷烟和无烟烟草的管控力度一样大。 核心规定包括:

*No one under age 18 can purchase them -- in stores or online.


*Sellers will need to check ID of anyone under 27 years of age.


*The products can't be sold in vending machines, except for in adult-only facilities.


*Free samples are banned.


E-cigarettes placed on the market after 2007 have to go through an FDA safety and approval review to enter or stay on the market. That could take years, but products can be sold while they wait for approval.

2007年后投放市场的电子烟都须经过FDA的安全审查批准才能继续留在市场。 这一过程可能需要很多年,而在等待审批通过的同时,相关产品可照常销售。

Critics say the rules will crush small makers of e-cigs because they can't afford the time and lawyer fees to get through the process.


The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Lung Association are glad to have the rules. But, Sward adds, "We certainly thought [the FDA] should have gone farther -- ending the sale of flavored products." Some come in candy and fruity flavors that appeal to kids and teens.


What Else You Should Know About E-Cigs


They can blow up. There were 134 reports of e-cigarette batteries overheating, catching fire, or exploding between 2009 and January 2016, according to Michael Felberbaum, an FDA spokesperson. Some people were seriously hurt. The new rules will allow FDA to review the safety of batteries and eventually take action to protect the public.

电子烟可能爆炸。 据FDA发言人迈克尔·菲尔伯鲍姆(Michael Felberbaum)称,仅2009年至2016年1月就发生134起电子烟电池过热、起火甚至爆炸的事件。 部分受害者伤势严重。 新规的出台让FDA审核电池的安全性并最终采取必要措施保护民众有法可依。

They can poison people. Liquid nicotine is especially dangerous to young kids. Reports of poisonings are on the rise. Keep all e-cigarettes out of reach of little ones.

电子烟有毒。 液态尼古丁对儿童的危害尤其大。 尼古丁中毒的报道也越来越多, 因此请将电子烟放在儿童接触不到的地方。

The FDA plans on future rules that will require nicotine warnings and child-resistant packaging for products with e-liquids, Felberbaum says.



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