Friday, 18 January, 2019

Surgeon General Urges Cities and States to Ban Indoor Public Vaping

The US Surgeon General has called for Significant increase in e-cig use among youth prompts strong warning from US surgeon general
Melissa Porter | 21 December, 2018, 04:56

The US Surgeon General is alarmed by the increasing use of vapes by teenagers. Health professionals should ask about e-cigarettes when screening patients for tobacco use, the advisory said.

For young people "nicotine is unsafe and it can have negative health effects", he told the Associated Press. "Nicotine is uniquely harmful to young and developing brains that can cause learning, attention and memory problems, and it can prime the brain for addiction in the future", Adams said.

The latest federal figures show that 3.6 million teens use e-cigarettes, which works out to 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, the AP reported.

In all, more than 3.6 million USA youth, including one in 20 middle school students, use e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been sold in the USA since 2007, growing into a $6.6 billion business. Health experts stress less harm is not harmless.

Adams singled out Silicon Valley startup Juul.

Just three percent of U.S. adults use e-cigarettes, far fewer than the rate among high schoolers, which tops 20 per cent. "The use of certain USB-shaped e-cigarettes is especially unsafe among youth because these products contain extremely high levels of nicotine, which can harm the developing adolescent brain". Additionally, Adams states that Juul's liquid nicotine mixture is specially formulated to give a smoother, more potent nicotine buzz. "We need to protect our young people from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes".

"We know that the notion that e-cigarette aerosol is harmless water vapour - something even my 14-year-old son thought was true - is a myth", Adams said.

"JUUL Labs shares a common goal with the Surgeon General and other federal health regulators - preventing youth from initiating on nicotine", according to a statement from Victoria Davis, a Juul spokesperson.

Last month Juul shut down its social media accounts and halted in-store sales of its flavoured cartridges to deter use by under-18s. The flavors remain available via age-restricted online sales.

Omaha high school students say they don't have to look far to see it, "we mostly see it in the bathrooms. lunchrooms, if a teacher is away we'll see it there", said Burke High School sophomore, Anna Anthony".

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration's National Youth Tobacco Survey says the percentage of high school-age children reporting past 30-day use of e-cigarettes rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018.