Surgeon General: Take Steps to Stop Teen E-Cig Use

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams says swift action is needed to prevent millions of teenagers and adolescents from becoming hooked on Juul and other high-nicotine electronic cigarettes

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams says swift action is needed to prevent millions of teenagers and adolescents from becoming hooked on Juul and other high-nicotine electronic cigarettes

In other words, the surgeon general wants parents to obscure the enormous difference between the dangers of vaping and the dangers of smoking. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. The Surgeon General is urging them to rethink their policies.

A survey released Monday showed 37 percent of seniors have tried vaping, up from just under 28 percent in 2017.

More than 3.6 million USA youth, including one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students, use e-cigarettes in 2018, the advisory said.

Vaping among USA 12th graders, those in their final year of high school, doubled in the past year alone.

He added: "E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless". Those measures directly attack products that even Adams concedes "have the potential to reduce risk for current smokers" in the name of preventing underage vaping, which itself may be driving down tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

The surgeon general's advisory notes that each Juul cartridge, or pod, contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Middle school-age children's use also increased almost 50 percent.

For young people "nicotine is risky and it can have negative health effects", he told the Associated Press. The flavors remain available via age-restricted online sales. Analysts now estimate the company controls more than 75 percent of the United States e-cigarette market.

Adams says parents should be vigilant and look for signs that teens are using e-cigarettes.

Nicotine is not only extremely addictive, but it is risky in its own right. Alarmed by the addictive nature of nicotine in e-cigarettes and its impact on the developing brain, public health experts are struggling to address a surging new problem: how to help teenagers quit vaping.

Adams has no regulatory powers.

"There is clear evidence that these products are not safe for our young people", said MD Anderson president Dr. Peter Pisters.

The company defended its products, saying it has taken steps to prevent young people from using them.

One college is already acting. He links to an FDA "fact sheet" that claims the "e-cigarette use surge" led to an "uptick in overall tobacco use" by teenagers, as if vaping and smoking are interchangeable from a public health perspective.

"We need to protect our kids from all tobacco products, including all shapes and sizes of e-cigarettes", Adams said in the advisory.

Tobacco use has plummeted in the USA but still remains the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths, mostly from heart disease, cancer and lung disease.

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