Public Health Challenges of Electronic Cigarettes in South Korea

Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
Journal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Ŭihakhoe chi 11/2011; 44(6):235-41. DOI: 10.3961/jpmph.2011.44.6.235
Source: PubMed


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarrettes) were recently introduced and advertised as a smoking cession device in South Korea. As the social norm to quit smoking has gained hold in the country, the number of e-cigarette users is growing rapidly. This phenomenon should be urgently considered, because of the lack of research that has been conducted to examine the safety of e-cigarettes and its efficacy as a smoking cessation aid.
This paper raises several public health concerns on e-cigarettes in South Korea. Uncertain regulations of the government on e-cigarettes are contributing to an increase of e-cigarette users and allowing the e-cigarette industry to circumvent existing regulations. The aggressive marketing activity of this industry is also a core factor that is responsible for the rapid increase of e-cigarette use, in particular among the youth. Following the enforcement of tobacco control, some cigarette smokers may be encouraged to purchase e-cigarettes in order to circumvent the regulations, even though the dual use of e-cigarette and cigarette may be more harmful.
Until there is clear evidence of the e-cigarette's safety, it is recommended that the industry's marketing and promotional activities be banned and closely monitored, and public campaigns be initiated to educate the public regarding e-cigarettes.

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    • "Most countries are only just beginning to regulate e-cigarettes, including restrictions on sales to minors (Benowitz and Goniewicz 2013; Kinnunen et al. 2014). Since e-cigarette use is associated with tobacco cigarette smoking, there is concern that many youth may use both electronic and tobacco cigarettes concurrently (i.e., dual use) (Dutra and Glantz 2014; Lee et al. 2011). Recently, we reported an increased prevalence from 2010–2011 to 2013–2014 in dual use among adolescents in Poland (Goniewicz et al. 2014a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are gaining in popularity among youth. While these products may be beneficial in adult smokers, the effect on young users of electronic and tobacco cigarettes (dual users) is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of dual use among adolescents and to compare tobacco cigarette consumption among dual and exclusive tobacco cigarette users. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of a sample of 2213 Polish students aged 16-18 conducted between December 2013 and February 2014. Results: Overall, 21.8 % of students were dual users. Dual users were more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes on a daily basis [adjusted odds ratio, AOR 3.54 (95 % CI 2.34-5.36) and less likely to smoke fewer cigarettes per day (AOR 0.27 (95 % CI 0.12-0.57)] than exclusive tobacco cigarette users. Conclusions: The frequency of dual use was higher than exclusive use of a single product among Polish adolescents. Young dual users do not smoke a lower number of tobacco cigarettes per day than exclusive tobacco cigarette users.
    International Journal of Public Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00038-015-0756-x · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    • "However, in November 2008, the Ministry for Strategy and Finance made an authoritative interpretation that regarded e-cigarettes as a type of cigarette, and therefore only allowed marketing of e-cigarettes within the existing regulatory framework for tobacco. After that judgment, the marketing of e-cigarettes through the Internet was banned (5). "
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    ABSTRACT: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are becoming increasingly popular worldwide and their cellular effects warrant further evaluation. In this study, we investigated the effects of an e-cigarette cartridge solution on allergen related asthmatic airway inflammation (AI) and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), when it is delivered by intratracheal route in mice. Asthmatic AI and AHR were induced by systemic sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) followed by intratracheal, intraperitoneal, and aerosol allergen challenges in BALB/c mice. The cartridge solution of e-cigarette (containing 16 mg/ml nicotine) was diluted 50 times and 100 μl of the diluted solution was intratracheally instilled to OVA-sensitized (OVA-S) mice two times a week for 10 weeks. Long-term e-cigarette inhalation elicited no remarkable changes in the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase enzymes in serum, however, increased infiltration of inflammatory cells including eosinophils, into airways from blood, aggravated the asthmatic AI and AHR, and stimulated the production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13, and OVA-specific IgE production. Our data suggest that the inhalation of e-cigarette solutions can function as an important factor to exacerbate the allergy-induced asthma symptoms. Further studies are needed to address the effects of e-cigarette solutions on human health.
    Toxicological Research 03/2014; 30(1):13-8. DOI:10.5487/TR.2014.30.1.013
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    ABSTRACT: The "electronic (e-)cigarette" generates intense scientific debate about its use. Its popularity is increasing worldwide as a method to reduce/quit smoking, and to smoke indoors when restrictions on smoking tobacco are present. WHO recommends caution, until its effectiveness in helping smokers is clarified, and the possible harm evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the content of the aromatic liquid mixture and its vapour and the Particulate Matter (PM) emissions of an Italian brand of e-cigarette and to compare its PM emissions with a conventional cigarette. Propylene glycol (66%) and glycerine (24%) were main components in the liquid, while the flavouring substances were less than 0.1%. The same substances were detected in the vapour in similar proportions. Fine and ultrafine PM emissions were higher for the conventional versus the e-cigarette (e.g.: PM10=922 vs 52 microg/m3; PM1=80 vs 14 microg/m3). The e-cigarette seems to give some advantages when used instead of the conventional cigarette, but studies are still scanty: it could help smokers to cope with some of the rituals associated with smoking gestures and to reduce or eliminate tobacco consumption avoiding passive smoking. However, the e-cigarette causes exposure to different chemicals compared with conventional cigarettes and thus there is a need for risk evaluation for both e-cigarettes and passive steam exposure in smokers and non smokers.
    Annali di igiene: medicina preventiva e di comunità 11/2011; 24(4):279-88.
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