U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has said that e-cigarettes are a public threat to youth.
Mr. Murthy said the rates of vaping among youth have increased dramatically in the last years and this may lead them to use other tobacco products, making them tobacco users for the rest of their lives. He added that tobacco use is not safe in any form including e-cigarettes. He also listed the threats that e-cigarettes pose to health and what we can do to fight this problem among the youth in the United States.
E-cigarettes might lead youth to a lifetime dependence on tobacco
There is a new report that explains how e-cigarettes have helped thousands of individuals in the U.K. to quit smoking. Researchers from the Cancer Research U.K. and the University College London (UCL) have found that about 18,000 people have become ex-smokers since they started using e-cigarettes in 2015.
2.8 million people are now using e-cigarettes. However, while some researchers consider e-cigarettes as an alternative to the addition of other tobacco products, some have expressed concern about the increasing dependence to e-cigarettes, especially when the risks are not yet clear.
Mayo clinic’s Dr. J Taylor Hays agrees with Murthy’s report, saying that the use of e-cigarettes is increasing among high school students. He started tracking this phenomenon in 2011, ever since the use of e-cigarettes has increased nearly four times. Dr. Hays also said that the biggest threat is that the long-term risks of e-cigarettes to health are not quite clear.
Hays stated that for adults it is definitely less harmful to use e-cigarettes than to continue smoking combustible tobacco cigarettes, but it is necessary to prevent youth from getting addicted to nicotine.
“We may be setting ourselves up for another generation addicted to nicotine and, worse, youth who use e-cigarettes may transition to tobacco cigarettes. It would be tragic if another generation of Americans had to deal with a new tobacco epidemic,” added Hays.
Know the strategies for reducing e-cigarette use
The doctors also recommended to parents, teachers and policy makers to raise children and youth as tobacco-free and nicotine free generations. Murthy made a list including the strategies to reduce the use of e-cigarettes. The list includes the following: Creating and funding tobacco control programs with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prohibiting the distribution of samples, increasing price and taxes on tobacco products, promoting media campaigns and creating effective smoke-free laws.
Some tips to avoid the use of e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product include: delay smoking by waiting at least 10 minutes before giving in to a craving, chew gum, and don’t fool yourself thinking it would be the last.
For help kicking the nicotine habit, call the CDC hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (toll-free).
Source: The Journal Times