Controversy Swirls after Surgeon General's Vaping Report
A recent report by the U.S. surgeon general citing the dangers of e-cigarette use in young people has drawn criticism from those who claim e-cigarettes can help smokers quit. According to the report, e-cigarettes are now the most common form of tobacco product used by young people, who are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of nicotine. Recommendations made by the surgeon general include incorporating e-cigarettes into existing smoke-free policies and imposing taxes on vaping products to discourage young people from buying them.
The report also states that, while there is no evidence supporting the claims that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, there's also no evidence to show that young people who vape are more likely to move on to smoke cigarettes. According to the CDC, e-cigarette use in high school students increased from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015, while smoking rates decreased from 15.8 to 9.3 percent over the same period of time.
There isn't any research about the long-term use of e-cigarettes—in adults or adolescents. Therefore, the surgeon general's report is largely precautionary—supporting "intervention to avoid possible health risks when the potential risks remain uncertain and have been, as yet, partially defined."
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