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Demand for hike in legal age for buying cigarettes and e-cigarettes

They say that the hike should not only be for tobacco products, but also for e-cigarettes. “The developing brains of children and teens are particularly vulnerable to nicotine, which is why the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among adolescents is so alarming and so unsafe to their long-term health”.

The tightened regulations, including raising the minimum legal age from 18, are created to protect children and adolescents from the “pernicious effects” of tobacco and nicotine.

Many youth said flavoring was a reason to use e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and snus pouches, the researchers reported in JAMA.

Health experts are particularly concerned that e-cigarettes are threatening to addict a new generation of smokers.

A new study of young people aged 12-17 years indicates that most teens who reported ever experimenting with tobacco said they started with a flavored tobacco product. Though e-cigarettes are considered as tool to help smokers quit their habit, a few researchers suggest it as a gateway to conventional cigarettes.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about e-cigarettes”, Claire McCarthy, MD, a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, told CBS News.

They are also less expensive than cigarettes because they are not subject to the same taxes, despite containing the same carcinogens, said King, who was not involved in the JAMA research letter. The AAP policy statement urges the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems the same as other tobacco products. As little as half a teaspoon can kill an average-size toddler, according to the AAP. The AAP agency also recommends to expand smoke-free laws that already govern secondhand smoke to include e-cigarettes as well along with promotion of smoke-free homes and vehicles. The new policies also advocate promoting smoke-free homes and vehicles.

In three policy statements published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the AAP offers its guidance on what should happen within public policy, regulation and family counseling for reducing exposure and dependence on tobacco.

Consumers and other interested parties can report a potential tobacco-related violation of the FD&C Act, including sale of tobacco products to minors, by using the FDA’s Potential Tobacco Product Violation Reporting Form.

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