On December 18, 2018, the Surgeon General of the United States Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams issued a public health advisory on the dangers of e-cigarette use. He called the use among our youth “an epidemic” and asks all of us to step up and help protect our children from this major public health threat.
According to the Advisory, e-cigarettes entered the U.S. market in 2007 and since 2014, are the most widely used tobacco product by youth. In 2018, use grew by 20.8% so that 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes. These cigarettes come in different shapes, sizes and flavors and have become very attractive to youth, especially with so much effective advertising geared toward the youth. It is also important to know that, in addition to using various flavors, marijuana is being used in e-cigarettes too.
The Surgeon General warned that e-cigarette aerosol can be harmful as it usually has nicotine, which is an addictive drug. “Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain – which continues to develop until about age 25. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can impact learning, memory, and attention. Using nicotine in adolescence can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs. In addition to nicotine, the aerosol that users inhale and exhale from e-cigarettes can potentially expose both themselves and bystanders to other harmful substances, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.”
He refers to this growing use as a “public health epidemic” and asks us assist in the fight to protect our children. The Advisory provides helpful information as to what can be done by parents, teachers, health professionals, as well as government entities.
The Advisory ends with the following: “KNOW THE RISKS. TAKE ACTION. PROTECT OUR KIDS.”
To read the full advisory, CLICK HERE.
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