HealthDay News — Youth should be protected from electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices, according to a position statement from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies published online in the European Respiratory Journal.
Thomas W. Ferkol, M.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues address the use of electronic cigarettes among young people.
The researchers note that children and adolescents are highly susceptible to nicotine addiction, which affects brain development. The risk of becoming lifelong tobacco consumers is increased for young people who become addicted to nicotine.
Among youth, there has been an increase in the use of nicotine-delivering electronic cigarettes worldwide. In addition to physical dependence, youth are susceptible to the social and environmental influences to use electronic cigarettes. The appeal of electronic cigarettes has been increased with the product design, flavors, marketing, and perception of safety and acceptability.
Growing evidence suggests that electronic cigarette use by children and adolescents leads to cigarette smoking. Electronic cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco products and included in smoke-free policies to protect children from electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices.
In addition, sale of electronic cigarettes to youth should be banned worldwide. Flavorings in electronic cigarettes should be banned, and advertising that is accessible to youth should also be prohibited.
“Finally, we recommend greater research on the health effects of electronic cigarettes and surveillance of use across different countries,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.