VAPING Health experts are warning smoking e-cigarettes could spark a major health crisis
14 February, 2019, 11:54
Public health experts are continuing to sound the alarm on the teen vaping epidemic, tying the 1.3 million increase in teen tobacco users from 2017 to 2018 directly to e-cigarettes.
"The skyrocketing growth of young people's e-cigarette use over the past year threatens to erase progress made in reducing youth tobacco use", CDC directorRobert Redfield, MD, said in a press statement. They concluded that heated tobacco vapor and cigarette smoke affected cells at both lower and higher concentration, whereas, e-cigarette vapor showed toxicity at higher concentration. "Raising the legal age of purchase for all tobacco products to 21, which we strongly support, is the single most effective way to address underage use".
The CDC explained that there were no changes in the use of tobacco products except for those who were using e-cigarettes.
To put the 4.9 million users in perspective, the CDC explained it was the equivalent of more than one in four high school students and about one in 14 middle school students.
For the fifth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among high school students (20.8%), followed by cigarettes (8.1%), cigars (7.6%), smokeless tobacco (5.9%), hookah (4.1%), and pipe tobacco (1.1%).
E-cigarettes are generally considered better than cigarettes for adults who are already addicted to nicotine.
The US categorizes e-cigarettes as tobacco products, a definition not shared by all countries.
"We need to redouble our efforts to protect our nation's youth from this completely preventable risk", Dr. Brian King, deputy director for research translation for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention " s Office on Smoking and Health, said.
The regulation of e-cigarettes falls to Health Canada, which announced last week it was looking at new measures of restricting ads and limiting their visibility to youth. The young advocates spoke honestly on how cigarette-smoking affects their lives, and how certain substances disproportionately affect their neighborhoods, said one of the organizers.
"It took us almost five decades to understand the damaging effects of cigarette smoke and we don't yet know the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes".
With the sharp uptick in e-cigarette use, the CDC is likely to find the trend of increased use among youth will not end in 2018.
The report also showed that those who use e-cigarettes are using them more frequently.
The CDC said the number of current cigarette smokers and consumers of other tobacco products in middle and high school remained roughly stable from 2017 to 2018. In the past, Gottlieb has said that he would consider halting sales of e-cigarettes while companies go through the FDA review. These products may be sold online and in retail without age verification and are a serious threat to efforts to fight underage e-cigarette use prevalence.
"JUUL entered the USA market in 2015 and since December 2017 has held the greatest market share of any e-cigarette in the United States".
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