Surgeon General Undermines Harm Reduction by Pushing Anti-Vaping Policies and Propaganda

Significant increase in e-cig use among youth prompts strong warning from US surgeon general

The US Surgeon General is alarmed by the increasing use of vapes by teenagers.

"We know that nicotine exposure during adolescence can uniquely harm the developing adolescent brain, impacting learning, memory, and attention", said Adams.

The top USA doctor on Tuesday (Dec 18) called for "aggressive" action against e-cigarette use, which he said has exploded to epidemic proportions among youth and puts their health and brain development at risk.

Parents, teachers and health professionals should educate themselves about e-cigarettes, explain the risks to children, and be a role model by not using tobacco products, Adams said.

The advisory was prompted by the latest statistics on vaping among youths, which found e-cigarette use among high school students has increased dramatically in the past year.

Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pointed to recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that showed the percentage of high school seniors who used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days almost doubled to 20.9 percent from past year. "They don't realize the nicotine can interfere with their brain development, that the sweet flavors don't make the products any less unsafe", Ryan said.

He added: "E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless". And studies show that teens who vape are more likely to also try burnt cigarettes.

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"Students are bringing e-cigarettes to the schools, using it in the school bathrooms and at times, during class".

E-cigarette use has skyrocketed among the middle and high school set.

"We included e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the policy because nicotine in any form is highly addictive", said Cerri Banks, dean of students at the college.

Mr Adams singled out Juul, a Silicon Valley company, which has come to dominate the e-cigarette market with devices featuring flavours like mango and cucumber. Analysts now estimate the company controls more than 75 percent of the US e-cigarette market. Even if e-cigarettes are healthier than regular cigarettes, one cartridge still contains about as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes, making it particularly unsafe for the bodies of developing youth. Additionally, Adams states that Juul's liquid nicotine mixture is specially formulated to give a smoother, more potent nicotine buzz.

Last month, San Francisco-based Juul shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts and halted in-store sales of its flavored pods.

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was mulling a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from makers including JUUL, Vuse and MarkTen XL, citing the threat of creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.

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