The Surgeon General called e-cigarette use among youth “a major public health concern” in a new report published on Thursday. It is the first comprehensive federal report on how electronic cigarettes are impacting the nation’s teenager. The U.S. Surgeon General found that sales marketing has played a key role in the soaring use of e-cigarettes among young people.
What Is An E-Cigarette?
E-Cigarette is the short term for Electronic Cigarette. It is a handheld electronic device that vaporizes a flavored liquid. The user inhales the vapor. Using e-cigarettes is often called vaping. The fluid in the e-cigarette, called e-liquid, is usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and flavorings. Many are saying that it is safer than tobacco cigarettes, but the long-term health effects are not known.
“These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and hookahs,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said in the report.
Teenage Use Of E-Cigarette Is The Major Concern Of Surgeon General
E-cigarettes, which turn nicotine into inhalable vapor, can harm the brains of all human, especially the developing ones from teenagers. “Adolescent brains are particularly sensitive to nicotine’s effects,” and can experience “a constellation of nicotine-induced neural and behavioral alterations,” the report said. It urged stronger action to prevent young people from getting access to e-cigarettes.
With more than 7,700 unique flavors on the market, according to The Hill, flavoring was one of the most cited reasons why youth and young adults use e-cigarettes, along with curiosity and low perceived harm. The report also warns of the dangers of smoking e-cigarettes while pregnant. Nicotine can affect the development of the fetus and can also cause sudden infant death syndrome.
As Reuters reported, e-cigarette use among students rose to 16 percent in 2015 from 1.5 percent in 2011. Over the same period, 9.3 percent of students reported smoking traditional cigarettes compared with 15.8 percent in 2011. The report comes as the overall smoking rate in the United States fell in 2015 to a record low of 15 percent.