The United States Surgeon General office recently released a statement claiming that American teenagers prefer electronic cigarettes when it comes to their tobacco needs. Dr. Vivek Murthy wants to put a stop to the practice, deeming the devices unsafe for adolescent use.
According to the report, the preference for electronic cigarettes among high schoolers grew by a staggering 900 percent since 2011. As of 2014, the electronic devices even outmatched traditional tobacco products, like cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes went from being rare in 2010 to now being the most common tobacco product used by our nation’s youth,” declared Murthy during a recent conference.
The Surgeon General then added that the popularity of electronic cigarettes is threatening over half a century of progress in reducing tobacco consumption. Murthy believes that teen vaping will ultimately create a new generation of nicotine addicts.
Murthy’s declarations mark the first official time report concerning electronic cigarettes and teen vaping ever emitted by the United States Surgeon General Office.
The major concern, in this case, is the irreversible effects of nicotine on developing brains. According to the report, teen vaping can lead to attention deficits, a decrease in impulse control, mood disorders, reduced reasoning and attention skills, and addiction.
Moreover, previous research has shown that adolescents who vape are more likely to take up traditional smoking. The Surgeon General dismissed the idea that electronic cigarettes help prevent users from becoming smokers. Murthy declared that a closer analysis of the data only shows that adolescents are being exposed to nicotine products that otherwise wouldn’t have been accessible to them.
Furthermore, the report also tackles the chemicals used in the special nicotine liquid. It seems that during the heating process that creates the specific nicotine smoke, other, more dangerous substances are released, jeopardizing the health of the vaper.
Other studies showed that children and adolescents from 8th to 12th grade use electronic cigarettes, preferring the devices over regular combustible cigarettes.
In a 2015 report, researchers found that 7 percent of children in the 8th grade use electronic cigarettes on a regular basis. The same report found that 10.4 percent of both 10th and 12th graders opt for electronic cigarettes.
It seems that the popularity of normal cigarettes considerably dropped, only 2 to 5 percent of high schoolers preferring to smoke combustible cigarettes.
Image source: Pixabay