Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth - The E-cigarette Epidemic Among Youth

 
I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of protecting our children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.
 
Information for Parents
 
  • You have an important role to play in addressing this public health epidemic.
  • Learn about the different shapes and types of e-cigarettes and the risks of all forms of e-cigarette use for young
    people at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/.
  • Set a good example by being tobacco-free. If you use tobacco products, it’s never too late to quit. Talk to a healthcare professional about quitting all forms of tobacco product use. For free help, visit smokefree.gov or
    call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Adopt tobacco-free rules, including e-cigarettes, in your home and vehicle.
    Talk to your child or teen about why e-cigarettes are harmful for them. It’s never too late.
  • Get the Surgeon General’s tip sheet for parents, Talk With Your Teen About E-cigarettes, at https://ecigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/. Start the conversation early with children about why e-cigarettes, including JUUL, are harmful for them.
    • Let your child know that you want them to stay away from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, because they are not safe for them. Seek help and get involved.
    • Set up an appointment with your child’s health care provider so that they can hear from a medical professional about the health risks of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
    • Speak with your child’s teacher and school administrator about enforcement of tobacco-free school policies and tobacco prevention curriculum.
    • Encourage your child to learn the facts and get tips for quitting tobacco products at Teen.smokefree.gov.
 

E-cigarette Basics

E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid usually has nicotine and flavoring in it, and other additives. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is addictive. E-cigarettes are considered tobacco products because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.

Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:

  • ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
  • volatile organic compounds
  • heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead

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