Surgeon General Warns Youth Vaping Is Now An ‘Epidemic’

“Vaping by U.S. teenagers has reached epidemic levels, threatening to hook a new generation of young people on nicotine.

That’s according to an unusual advisory issued Tuesday U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams about the the dangers of electronic cigarette use among U.S. teenagers.

“I am officially declaring e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic in the United States,” Adams said at a news conference. “Now is the time to take action. We need to protect our young people from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

The surgeon general’s advisory called on parents and teachers to educate themselves about the variety of e-cigarettes and to talk with children about their dangers. Health professionals should ask about e-cigarettes when screening patients for tobacco use, the advisory said. And local authorities should use strategies, such as bans on indoor vaping and retail restrictions, to discourage vaping by young people.

The advisory was prompted by the latest statistics on vaping among youth, which found e-cigarette use among high school students has increased dramatically in the past year.

“We have never seen use of any substance by America’s young people rise this rapidly,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the briefing. “This is an unprecedented challenge.”

Federal officials singled out JUUL electronic cigarettes for fueling the epidemic, noting that the sleek devices are by far the most popular electronic cigarettes among young people.

The company defended its products, saying it has taken steps to prevent young people from using them. For example, the company has stopped distributing some flavorings to retail stores and has taken other steps to make sure young people don’t buy the devices online.”

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December 18, 2018