Electronic cigarettes are harmful and may cause serious health problems too, doctors suggest.
The potential dangers of electronic cigarettes have members of the Pennsylvania Medical Society concerned, and until more is known about the products, the state's physicians believe they should be treated no differently than tobacco products.
Meeting at the Pennsylvania Medical Society's annual House of Delegates in Hershey on October 26-27, more than 200 physicians voted to address the issue by calling upon the state legislature to pass electronic cigarette laws that have safeguards equivalent to existing tobacco laws, including taxation and banning sales to minors.
Furthermore, the doctors want Pennsylvania schools to include the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes in their tobacco education efforts.
The issue was presented by the Berks County Medical Society.
"Electronic cigarettes mimic smoking tobacco cigarettes and deliver nicotine to the body," Bruce A. MacLeod, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a practicing emergency medicine physician in Pittsburgh, said.
"For some it may be a used to beat their nicotine addiction. On the other hand electronic cigarettes are addicting. And many of the marketing materials appear to be geared to younger individuals," he said.
According to Dr. MacLeod, there are a lot of unknowns about electronic cigarettes, and until more facts are known, they should not be treated any differently from traditional cigarettes.