September 22nd, 2019

// WALMART ENDS SALES OF VAPING AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS

WALMART ENDS SALES OF VAPING AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS 

Walmart just banned the sale of all handguns and tobacco products including vaping products. 

Discussing this topic is Joshua Mansour, M.D, board-certified hematologist/oncologist who is conducting a national educational tour on the dangers of vaping.

Q&A: 

  1. What do you think about Walmart’s decision to end sales of vaping and tobacco products?

Answer: I applaud their decision and hope other retailers voluntarily follow suit.  There remains a façade that this isn’t as dangerous as smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, however e-cigarettes have many other dangers as further discovered recently.  To further elaborate, patients thus far have experienced shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, coughing and even severe lung disease leading to lung collapse.  In addition, several of the symptoms of nicotine include, but are not limited to tremors, increase in heart rate, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and even seizures

  1. Tell us about the government’s recent deadline for e-cigarette makers to change their marketing practices.

Answer: The federal government has been lenient on these manufacturers in allowing them until 2022 to submit their plans for preventing underage access to their products.  However now The FDA said it requested that JUUL provide a written response describing its corrective actions and its plan for maintaining compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), including its plan to prevent the same or similar violations in saying that it is safer than cigarettes.  Failure to do so, it warned, “may result in the FDA initiating further action, including, but not limited to, civil money penalties, seizure, and/or injunction.

  1. The underage vaping problem has escalated in recent years as the providers of vaping products claimed vaping was safer than cigarettes, yet the whole vaping craze addicted millions of young people to nicotine who had not been cigarette smokers prior. Besides addiction, what other dangers are associated with vaping?

Answer:  To further elaborate, patients thus far have experienced shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, coughing and even severe lung disease leading to lung collapse.  In addition, several of the symptoms of nicotine include, but are not limited to tremors, increase in heart rate, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and even seizures.  Further cardiovascular strain can occur and as you mentioned addition. There are also several other dangers that we are unfortunately learning about from many impurities that are being found in cartridges. 

4.  How damage can frequent vaping do to underage people?

Answer: Recent studies and statistics have shown that approximately 20% of users are underage.   As described above there are several detrimental effects that these electronic cigarettes can have at any age.  By starting younger, people are exposing themselves to a 

  1. What are some ideas that you have for limiting the underage access to vaping products?

I think that Walmart has taken a big first step in eliminating the selling of these products from their stores all together.  In order to limit much of the underage access, there will need to be further enforcement on the products and how they are obtained.  I think that changing the marketing strategies as well as banning the flavors will also make the products less appealing to the younger population.   

  1. Why do people think that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes? 

Answer:  Many of the possible side effects that we have seen with conventional cigarette smoking, which is now marketed and outwardly displayed to the public, is not done so with electronic cigarettes and devices.  This of course can be because not enough time has passed to show a correlation or causal relationship.  This doesn’t mean that the it doesn’t exist though.  It took decades before doctors believed that there was a case against cigarettes.  It is now known to be the deadliest artefact in the history of human civilization

  1. What do you recommend that people should do if they are already addicted to nicotine through vaping—should they switch to paper cigarettes?

Answer: NO! If patients are addicted to nicotine through vaping at this time, they should discuss this with a healthcare provider.  Several resources and steps to help patients with addiction can be discussed.  Some of these include a nicotine gum program or a patch, similar to what is used with patients addicted to traditional tobacco cigarettes.   

Dr. Joshua Mansour is a board-certified hematologist/oncologist working and in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy in Los Angeles, California. In June 2019 he was a recipient of the ‘40 Under 40 in Cancer’ award. Abstracts, manuscripts and commentaries by Dr. Mansour have been published in U.S. News & World Report and more than 100 other esteemed journals and media outlets.

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