Surgeon General calls for e-cig curbs

| December 8, 2016
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

The U.S Surgeon General is calling for action to reduce the use of electronic cigarettes among young people, noting they have overtaken cigarettes to become the most commonly used ‘tobacco products’ among this group, according to a story by Toni Clarke for Reuters.

The nation’s top doctor, Vivek Murthy today released a report entitled, E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General.

Weighing in on the subject for the first time since electronic cigarette use took off, Murthy said young people were more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure than were adults.

“These effects include addiction, priming for use of other addictive substances, reduced impulse control, deficits in attention and cognition, and mood disorders,” he was quoted by Clarke as saying in a preface to the report.

The report recommends, Clarke said, that electronic cigarettes be incorporated into existing smoke-free policies, including preventing youth from accessing electronic cigarettes, implementing price and tax policies that discourage use and encouraging federal regulation of electronic cigarette marketing.

‘We know a great deal about what works to effectively prevent tobacco use among young people,’ the report says. ‘Now we must apply these strategies to e-cigarettes.

The report was welcomed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Association.

‘As leading medical organizations representing, collectively, 630,000 physicians across the country, we join together today to applaud Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, for issuing the first comprehensive federal government review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes on youth and young adults in the United States,’ the organizations said in a statement.

‘While adolescent use of tobacco has declined since the 1970s, tobacco use continues to be a major health threat to young people and adults, and e-cigarettes are threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine. The developing brains of children and teens are particularly vulnerable to nicotine, which is why the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among adolescents is so alarming and dangerous to their long-term health…’

The report did not go down so well with others. The Vapor Technology Association’s (VTA) national legislative director, Tony Abboud, said that like the Surgeon General, VTA and its members were committed to the health and safety of children. VTA supported bipartisan legislation that would ensure the safety of vapor products, and would ensure vapor products did not fall into the hands of minors.

‘What the Surgeon General does not acknowledge with this announcement are that millions of adult Americans who rely on vapor products to switch away from smoking deadly cigarettes, he said. ‘While there is no credible evidence that vapor products are a ‘gateway’ to combustible cigarettes, there is scientific evidence that they provide these adult smokers with a safer alternative.

‘However, as long as government agencies perpetuate false information, the United States will continue to fall behind other countries such as England, which have acknowledged the significant public health benefits of vapor products…’

 

 

Category: Breaking News

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