Lead author of AHA policy statement on e-cigarettes available for interviews

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The lead author of the American Heart Association’s policy statement on e-cigarettes is available to comment on an article released today in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that e-cigarette vapor can contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes.

    Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, the Smith and Lucile Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville, chaired a 10-member American Heart Association panel of experts in formulating the association’s first-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes released in August 2014.

    Today’s findings echo the concerns raised by Bhatnagar and the group over what is still unknown about e-cigarettes.

    “People need to know that e-cigarettes are unregulated and there are many variables that we don’t know about them,” Bhatnagar says. “Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation’s youth, and could re-normalize smoking in our society.”

    Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products, according to recommendations in the policy statement. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

    Bhatnagar is available for interviews from 3 to 4 p.m. EST today (Thursday, Jan. 22). Contact Jill Scoggins at 713-855-7344 or jill.scoggins@louisville.edu.

    The article, “Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols,” is available at www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc1413069.

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    Jill Scoggins is proud of her role as an academic communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience with universities in four states. At UofL, she manages communications for several departments, divisions, institutes and centers within the School of Medicine. Her areas include women’s health, pediatrics, family medicine, geriatric medicine, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery and oncology/hematology, among others.