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AAP Recommends Age of Tobacco Use Products should be raised to 21

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently recommended that the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and electronic cigarettes should increase to 21. Though a huge decline in tobacco use among teens has seen since 1970s, smoking has been a major health concern for young as well as adult people.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also been requested by the AAP to regulate e-cigarettes the same way other tobacco products are regulated. Dr. Karen M. Wilson, chair of the AAP Section on Tobacco Control and section head of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said the reason that why the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among adolescents is so dangerous to their long-term health is that the developing brains of children and teens are vulnerable to nicotine.

As per survey results reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2104, young adults were increasingly attracting towards e-cigarettes as compared to other tobacco products. Though e-cigarettes are considered as tool to help smokers quit their habit, some researchers suggest it as a gateway to conventional cigarettes. Dr. Claire McCarthy, a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said “We don’t have a lot of good information about the effect of e-cigarettes on youth, because they haven’t been around very long”.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 3,700 children exposed to liquid nicotine were reported at poison control centers in 2014. 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.

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