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E-Cigarettes and Teens

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The 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey has revealed that there is an increase in the use of e-cigarettes by teens as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is of concern indicating the adoption of a new risk behavior.

“Current cigarette smoking is at an all-time low, which is great news. However, it’s troubling to see that students are engaging in new risk behaviors, such as using e-cigarettes,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

“The 2015 survey found that 24% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes during the past 30 days.” (CDC) As of May 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors e-cigarettes and has restricted the sale to minors. Additionally, the FDA has updated the Safety Reporting Portal online tool that is a venue for consumers to utilize to report products they feel are questionable or causing an unexpected health problem. “We must continue to invest in programs that help reduce all forms of tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, among youth.” CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

According to the American Lung Association , nicotine negatively affects the adolescent brain development and “has been associated with lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments, including effects on working memory and attention.” It is important that we continue to educate our youth about the hazards associated with all forms of tobacco use.