Edited By Sophia Clifton
Published: August 31, 2020
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On this episode of the Drugwatch Podcast, our guest is American Lung Association’s Assistant Vice President of National Advocacy, Erika Sward. Sward previously contributed to Drugwatch’s feature on How Juul Created a Teen Vaping Epidemic

Sward joins me to talk about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping, and we discuss the risks of a newer heated tobacco product, Philip Morris’ IQOS.   

E-cigarettes work by using an electric heat source to create an inhalable aerosol from liquid containing nicotine, glycerin and a number of other chemicals. IQOS works by heating tobacco at a lower temperature instead of burning it in the way traditional cigarettes do. 

In July 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed Philip Morris to market IQOS as a modified risk tobacco product. This “permits the marketing of a product as containing a reduced level of or presenting a reduced exposure to a substance or as being free of a substance when the issuance of the order is expected to benefit the health of the population,” according to the FDA’s news release. 

Sward says this is a dangerous step toward keeping people addicted to tobacco products and falsely leaves consumers with the idea that these are safer products. Hundreds of people who say they were injured by Juul e-cigarettes and that the company used deceptive advertising filed lawsuits against the company. 

“The Lung Association for more than a decade has been sounding the alarm about e-cigarettes and really recognizing that the false claims the companies made from the get-go … that the products are less harmful, that they can help people quit smoking — none of those have been proven,” Sward said.  

On the podcast, Sward breaks down the risks of vaping and IQOS and offers hope to people who are trying to quit vaping and smoking. 

“What we recognize is that every person can quit tobacco. All tobacco products,” Sward said. 

She points current smokers and parents of teens addicted to e-cigarettes to American Lung Association or 1-800-Quit-Now for help quitting.

Lawsuit Information
Breathing issues, lung problems, stroke and seizures are among the injuries named in e-cigarette and Juul lawsuits. Learn more.
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