A local public health official who said there are too many unknowns about the safety of e-cigarettes is concerned about increased use among youth.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers that simulate smoking. They generally use a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution mixed in the “vaping” device.
Michele Bever, executive director of South Heartland District Health Department, which is headquartered in Hastings, said most any chemical or substance can have negative effects at the wrong concentrations.
“We have a very fine physiological system and if we have under or over certain substances, it can be a problem. It could be that some of these claims are appropriate at the right levels. What we are concerned about is that we don’t know the levels of any of these substances in something that isn’t regulated yet.”