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Surgeon General: Vaping Poses Serious Risks to Youth and Their Brains

Image: Surgeon General: Vaping Poses Serious Risks to Youth and Their Brains

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy is warning about the serious risks of vaping on young people. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 04:36 PM

The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes, poses major risks to young people even though it may be a little bit safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy released a report Thursday in which he noted the use of e-cigarettes has more than tripled among middle and high schoolers since 2011 and that “these products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States,” CNN reported. Vaping has now surpassed cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and hookahs, Murthy stated.

The report showed a 900 percent increase in vaping among high school students from 2011 to 2015. Murthy notes that “compared with older adults, the brain of youth and young adults is more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure.”

The nation’s top doctor said vaping among the nation’s young people “is now a major public health concern,” The New York Times reported.

In addition to harming the user’s brain, the vapor surrounding the user also can harm others, the report said. One attraction of e-cigarettes for young people is that they are flavored, unlike traditional cigarettes.

The report encouraged stronger action to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of the young. The federal government banned the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18 in May, and the FDA began regulating the products in August.

The e-cigarette industry was estimated at $4.1 billion by Wells Fargo this year. The surgeon general’s recommendations might help push the minimum age for any tobacco products to 21 and add e-cigarettes into laws that regulate smoke-free zones, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes, poses major risks to young people even though it may be a little bit safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.
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2016-36-08
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 04:36 PM
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