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Surgeon General warns about dangers of e-cigarette use among youth

December 27, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service Jerome Adams announced on Thursday, Dec. 21 that he was emphasizing the importance of protecting children from a “lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.”

New types of e-cigarettes have created a surge in the market, especially among youth, which has caused concern across the country.

Adams addressed the ever-evolving landscape of e-cigarettes and the continuing need to know what is available. He noted that since 2014, e-cigarettes were most common tobacco product among youth. In the middle and high school level, the rate increased 900 percent during 2011-2015, before declining from 2015 to 2017. E-cigarette use increased again 78 percent among high school students, going from 11.7 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent in 2018.

“In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, currently use e-cigarettes.”

Adams cited the dangers to the developing adolescent brain, which continues until about age 25, and its impact on learning.

“In addition to nicotine, the aerosol that users inhale and exhale from e-cigarettes can potentially expose both themselves and bystanders to other harmful substances, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs,” Adams said.

Adams was concerned over kid-friendly flavors and that e-cigarettes can be used to deliver other drugs, including marijuana. Adams addressed the new popularity in JUUL, the e-cigarette shaped like a USB device, which saw a 600 percent increase in sales in 2016-2017.

Adams expressed the importance of taking aggressive steps to protect children from e-cigarettes by working together, “aligning and coordinating efforts across both old and new partners at the national, state, and local levels.”

Information for parents

About different types: of e-cigarettes https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/

About quitting: visit smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Surgeon General’s tip sheet: Talk With Your Teen About E-cigarettes, at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/

Information for teens

Teen.smokefree.gov

Information for teachers

About different types: of e-cigarettes https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/

Food and Drug Administration and Scholastic free resources for teachers at www.scholastic.com/youthvapingrisks

You can read Adams’ entire announcement at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/surgeon-generals-advisory-on-e-cigarette-use-among-youth-2018.pdf.

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