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Surgeon General Alarmed by Teenage Nicotine Addiction

Update Date: Dec 28, 2016 02:50 PM EST

The U.S. Surgeon General, in a report released on December 8, mentioned that even if the vapor from e-cigarettes does not have the harmful tar generated by regular cigarettes, it is not entirely harmless. The concern on vaping, as it is fondly called, is that it is creating a whole new generation of children who are nicotine addicts.

What are e-cigarettes? E-cigarettes are electronic devices that contain flavored solutions, some with nicotine, that are heated to produce vapor. First generation e-cigarettes looked more like regular cigarettes while the ones nowadays resemble small flashlights.

There hasn't been a detailed study put out yet on the real effects of vaping from medical authorities. This is the one reason the U.S. Surgeon General is calling for more research into it.

Initially marketed as a safer and healthier alternative to smoking, the most recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General has mentioned that vaping is not at all harmless. Although some e-cigarette solutions do not contain nicotine, there are other harmful ingredients found in them such as diacetyl, which is a chemical flavorant linked to lung disease.

What is concerning is that children are attracted to vaping due to the numerous variants of flavored solutions of the e-liquid used to create vapor in e-cigarettes, from pastry-flavoured to fruit-flavoured liquids. These children are at risk of getting addicted to nicotine through vaping than smoking regular cigarettes.

In a 2014 national report on high school students who vape, 17% of 12th-grade students used electronic cigarettes compared to 14% who smoked tobacco cigarettes. This percentage has been increasing yearly and can be attributed to the price of e-cigarettes and how they are marketed and promoted versus regular tobacco cigarettes.

E-cigarette companies see children as a new market and so have promoted their products to them by offering engaging designs and flavors that they can consider hip. It is only proper that stricter regulations be implemented along with the much needed detailed research on e-cigarettes.

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