E-cigarettes are increasingly popular among Americans, but the full extent of their appeal to young people has been murky, until now.
hero_image_alt_text===Tobacco's Latest Threat: E-cigarettes
Last week, the Surgeon General released an eye-opening report about the use of e-cigarettes among youth in our country.
Here are our top takeaways:
- E-cigarettes are the most common form of tobacco product among youth, greater than conventional cigarettes. The Surgeon General says that, “In 2015, more than 3 million youth in middle and high school ... used e-cigarettes in the past month.” Even worse, many are using both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes simultaneously.
- Aerosol from e-cigarettes is NOT harmless. According to the report, “The aerosol created by e-cigarettes can contain ingredients that are harmful and potentially harmful to the public’s health …,” with some of the ingredients in aerosol found in car exhaust!
- Companies are targeting youth hard. Just as tobacco companies did decades ago, e-cigarette companies (which are often also tobacco companies) are using the same tactics to advertise to young people, such as promoting their products on TV, magazines, and in retail stores. And with flavors like bubblegum and chocolate, it’s no wonder kids find these harmful products enticing.
Even though this report leads to even more questions, the path forward is clear. E-cigarettes must be included in all tobacco taxes, age restriction laws, and smoke-free ordinances, and the targeting of kids needs to stop.