WORLD US surgeon general warns of teen risks from e-cigarettes

WORLD

US surgeon general warns of teen risks from e-cigarettes

AP

05:49, December 19, 2018

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On April 10, 2018, a high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts, US. (Photo: AP)

The government’s top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the US, urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers.

In an advisory Tuesday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said parents, teachers, health professionals and government officials must take "aggressive step" to keep children from using e-cigarettes. Federal law bars the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.

For young people, "nicotine is dangerous and it can have negative health effects," Adams said in an interview. "It can impact learning, attention and memory, and it can prime the youth brain for addiction."

The government’s top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the US, urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers.

In an advisory Tuesday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said parents, teachers, health professionals and government officials must take “aggressive steps” to keep children from using e-cigarettes. Federal law bars the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18.

For young people, "nicotine is dangerous and it can have negative health effects," Adams said in an interview. "It can impact learning, attention and memory, and it can prime the youth brain for addiction."

The surgeon general’s advisory notes that each Juul cartridge, or pod, contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Additionally, Adams states that Juul’s liquid nicotine mixture is specially formulated to give a smoother, more potent nicotine buzz. That effect poses special risks for young people, Adams says.

"We do know that these newer products, such as Juul, can promote dependence in just a few uses," Adams said.

Juul said in a statement that it shares the surgeon general’s goal: "We are committed to preventing youth access of Juul products."

Last month, San Francisco-based Juul shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts and halted in-store sales of its flavored pods. The flavors remain available via age-restricted online sales. That voluntary action came days before the Food and Drug Administration proposed industrywide restrictions on online and convenience store sales of e-cigarettes to deter use by kids.

Adams recommends parents, teachers and health professionals learn about e-cigarettes, talk to children about the risks and set an example by not using tobacco products.

 

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