nicotine

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing sweeping changes to how it regulates cigarettes and related products, including e-cigarettes. One big change: It's planning to reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in tobacco cigarettes.

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It's become an emotional debate: Do e-cigarettes help people get off regular cigarettes or are they a new avenue for addiction?

Until now, there has been little solid evidence to back up either side. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could help fill that void.

A bill to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors gained legislative support this week, according to the Miami Herald.

Reps. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, and Doc Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, sponsored the House version, which won approval from its first committee. The Senate version, (SB224), passed through two committees, including Appropriations.

Several cities also have made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors, the Herald reports. 

Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.

A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

Luke Johnson / Tampa Tribune

Electronic cigarettes, which substitute water vapor for smoke, are growing in popularity, with new stores popping up all around. The Tampa Tribune reports that more than 20 percent of adult smokers across the country have tried “e-cigarettes,” which are not regulated by the FDA and contain varying amounts of nicotine and come in all kinds of flavors. Public health officials say they haven’t been adequately tested, but some former smokers swear by them.