public health

E-Cigarettes a "Major Public Health Concern"

January 30th, 2017

Often viewed as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine coupled with flavorings and other additives in an aerosol form. The other additives can contain ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavorants such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to serious lung disease), volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals (such as nickel, tin, and lead). All Americans need to know that e-cigarettes are dangerous to youth and young adults.

E-cigarettes have already quickly taken hold within our communities, and by 2014 they surpassed conventional cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Any tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, is a health threat, particularity to the youth and young people (youth ages 11-17 and young adult ages 18-24).

The increase in youth markets is largely due to how e-cigarette companies market to young people and their susceptibility. Young people are particularly susceptible to the marketing tactics of these companies. One study showed that among adolescents (13–17 years of age) who had never used e-cigarettes, a single exposure to a set of four televised advertisements for popular brands resulted in significantly greater intention to try e-cigarettes—more than 50% higher! E-cigarettes have been widely promoted on social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook; most of these social media sites do not require age verification. YouTube is the most popular videosharing website globally and features many e-cigarette videos.

It is up to parents, teachers, health care providers and other leaders to make it clear to the young people of America that e-cigarettes are not safe, they contain many harmful chemicals, and are NOT OKAY for kids to use.

Let me know what you think! Leave comments below.

Dr Mike

To read more: http://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov

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