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

December 18, 2018 08:49 AM

The U.S. surgeon general is urging parents, teachers and healthcare professionals to protect children from nicotine addiction.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams issued a message Tuesday calling for urgent action in response to a surge in e-cigarette use among teens.


Adams is saying everyone must work together to help protect kids from vaping.

New federal data shows e-cigarette use among American youth is rising at an alarming rate.

In a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration, teens were asked whether they've vaped in the past month.

Researchers found a dramatic increase among high schoolers, with 75 percent more this year than last year saying, yes, they have used e-cigarettes.

Use among middle schoolers also increased nearly 50 percent.

Researchers say, overall, these findings mean more than a million additional teens started vaping within a single year.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine which both the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC report harms brain development, meaning learning, memory and attention capabilities can be adversely affected.

RELATED: MDH: Research Shows Raising Tobacco Sales Age Could Combat Rising Use among State's Youth

The surgeon general is speaking out strongly on the issue, saying, "We have evidence-based strategies to prevent tobacco use that can be applied to e-cigarettes. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation's young people."

Officials with the Minnesota departments of health and human services are chiming in as well, saying they will continue developing a comprehensive policy to combat this major problem.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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