Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were invented in 2003 by Chinese inventor and pharmacist Hon Lik. Although many companies and advocates continue to bill them as a safer, smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes, a U.S. Surgeon General report alarmingly found that 16% of high school students regularly use e-cigarettes. What’s worse, many young people who begin using nicotine through e-cigarettes will start to use traditional cigarettes later, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Smokers need help to quit, and those who can’t quit deserve a safer alternative. However, there’s a growing body of research indicating that e-cigarettes do more harm than good, and the companies selling them shamelessly advertise these products to youth in order to attract lifelong, valuable customers in ways that tobacco companies are prohibited from doing:
We support the Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes because with millions of teens using e-cigarettes every year, this is the beginning of an epidemic of nicotine addiction, and we invite you to learn more about these new nicotine delivery systems from the resources below.
Launched by the U.S. Surgeon General's office, Know the Risks: E-Cigarettes & Young People has quick and ready access to information about what e-cigarettes are, the trends in use, why they're bad for youth, and much more.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides this fact sheet about e-cigarettes, which includes their effects on teens, how teens are using them, the link between e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette use, and information about nicotine addiction.
The real cost of cocaine: Following the drug from Colombian rainforests to suburbia
‘There are some Londoners who think it is a victimless crime, taking cocaine at “middle-class parties”,’ Khan said. Dick criticised otherwise ethically minded users ‘who will sit round happily talking about global warming, fair trade, environmental protection and organic farming, but think there’s no harm in taking a bit of cocaine. Well, there is. There is misery throughout the supply chain.’
It’s a reasonable point. In an age when we put so much stock in consumer ethics, considering our footprint on the planet with every stride, why not investigate where your drugs come from, too?
If it ends with a snort, it begins with a seed…. In the first of a litany of environmental crimes occurring throughout the supply chain, the creation of clandestine farms means tearing down swathes of forest.
Rosie had no idea about its origins and doesn’t think about her complicity. She has two degrees, but thought cocaine came ‘from Cuba’ and was always ‘a powder… coming on a boat in the middle of the night’. She likes how coke makes her feel, but didn’t know about the environmental destruction, or cartel violence, or the risks taken by smugglers, or the bribes, or levamisole, or necrosis syndrome, or the young lives being ruined by county lines or lost in gang violence. (She did know about the Kinder eggs, but doesn’t seem very bothered.)
‘I had never really put too much thought into how it got here, just how I can get it,’ she says. And so the cocaine will keep on coming.
University of Texas at San Antonio researcher Dr. Dylan Jackson and his team studied data from 8th and 10th graders between 2010 and 2016. Teens that drank an energy everyday are “125 percent more likely to fail to perceive any risk in trying to consume cocaine,” compared to their peers. And when it came to heroin, they were 143 percent more likely to not see the risk of trying that drug when compared to other teens.
By Professor Andy Parrott one of the world’s leading experts on MDMA, Andy Parrott, Professor of Human Psychopharmacology, School of Health Sciences, Swansea University.
Comparing alcohol with MDMA.Alcohol is certainly a damaging drug, but to suggest that MDMA is less damaging than alcohol does not agree with the scientific evidence (Professor Nutt, 21st May). Comparing these two drugs is like comparing an F1 sports car to a basic family saloon. MDMA is an extremely powerful drug, which heats up the brain, causing a massive increase in neurochemical activity, dramatic changes in mood state, and it takes the brain several days to recover. Regular MDMA usage impairs memory, reduces problem-solving ability, reduces white cell blood count, increases susceptibility to infections, causes sleep problems, and enduring depression. In pregnant women MDMA impairs foetal development. We and other research groups worldwide have compared the psychobiological functioning of recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users with alcohol drinkers, and in numerous studies it is always the Ecstasy/MDMA users who are comparatively worse. The ‘family car’ may kill more people each year than the F1 speed machine, but to suggest that the latter would be safer for everyday driving is completely erroneous. MDMA kills many young people each year, and the death toll is currently rising. Yours etc . . .
In the next few paragraphs, I have provided more information on this topic. What is the basis for Professor Nutt claiming that MDMA is a safer drug than alcohol? This statement was based primarily on a survey he published in the Lancet (Nutt et al, 2007, vol 369; 1047). However this article contains some astounding errors. Indeed when I was first shown it, I contacted the Lancet stating that they needed to publish a detailed reply from me, since it was important to point out these errors. After some email exchanges with one of the Lancet editors, the journal decided not to publish my letter. However I presented some of my criticisms as a conference paper (Parrott, 2009. ‘How harmful is Ecstasy/MDMA: an empirical comparison using the Lancet scale for drug-related harm’. Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol 23, page 41).
I have listed below my main criticisms: