More teens now choose electronic cigarettes over tobacco, a trend that is giving them a false sense of safety and putting their health at risk, the U.S. Surgeon General said in a report released on Thursday.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices with a heating element, which produce an aerosol of nicotine and other chemicals.
E-cigarette use among middle and high school students has more than tripled from 2011 to 2015, according to the report containing new survey data.
The almost 300-page report from the surgeon general doesn't include much new data on e-cigarette use or the health risks they present. In a video message to the public from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a warning states that science shows that nicotine can harm teens' developing brains.
Cynthia Cabrera, who works for The Cating Group as a consultant to the vapor industry, said it's disappointing that e-cigarettes are being looped in with combustible tobacco products.
Federal figures made public this week show that past year 16 percent of high school students reported at least some use of e-cigarettes, even some who said they've never smoked a conventional cigarette. According to Murthy, e-cigs are now the most common tobacco product used by kids in America, lapping the heavily-taxed and increasingly unavailable traditional cigarette. Inhaling the mist is less harmful than inhaling cigarette smoke with its toxins like carbon monoxide and tar, but the report notes that they are not safe. He believes the federal health officials want people to be afraid of e-cigarettes so they can tighten regulations.
While not all contain nicotine, Murthy's report says e-cigarettes can include harmful ingredients like diacetyl, a chemical flavorant linked to serious lung disease, or heavy metals, including lead. "Now we must apply these strategies to e-cigarettes".
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Once Ian Desmond had agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with Colorado, the outfield market had a similar gap. Louis Cardinals didn't make "splashing news" during the recent 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, which closed Thursday.
The impact of the surgeon general's report also depends on whether the Trump administration rolls back or eliminates regulations on innovative tobacco and nicotine products that the FDA debuted August 8. "Are they a safe alternative to smoking?" In 2015, almost 6 of 10 high school cigarette smokers also used e-cigarettes, the report said.
One of the biggies is to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate how e-cigarettes are manufactured, marketed and sold. The CDC reported earlier this year that spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.
Unique eCigs' general manager says the company's mission is to help people quit smoking and only about 10 percent of its customers are young people.
The report released Thursday by the US surgeon general focuses on Americans under the age of 25, the cohort that has embraced e-cigarettes with the most enthusiasm.
A man smoking an electronic cigarette.
The industry is subject to some regulation.
Ray Story, president of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, an global industry group, believes e-cigarettes are "far less harmful than conventional tobacco".