Is Vaping All That Bad? Pediatricians Think, Yes

Is Vaping All That Bad? Pediatricians Think, Yes

Vaping and flavored cigars are all the rage with teens, and doctors are concerned.

Fewer and fewer teens are choosing to smoke these days. According to a national survey completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of teens taking up smoking traditional cigarettes is the lowest it’s ever been. And at face value this would seem like great news.

In reality, however, the situation isn’t as rosy as it seems.

The truth is, the smokers haven’t entirely disappeared- they’ve just moved on to something else.

The number of young people turning to e-cigarettes and flavored cigars is soaring. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that sales of e-cigarettes is booming and that double the number of flavored cigars are now being sold, when compared with data from 2008.

New Flavors

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Why is this a problem, in particular? The Academy feels that young people are becoming direct targets for these products, through marketing.

E-cigarettes don’t just come in traditional flavors, but are now being sold in aromas with names like Gummy Bear, Cotton Candy, Chocolate and Cherry Dynamite.  Obviously, they’re for kids.

Related: Florida Man Rushed to Burn Unit After E-Cigarette Explodes in His Mouth

Cigars, it notes, are also now being sold in fruit and candy flavors in an effort to entice large numbers of teens to try these often nicotine-filled products.

Ifscience.com says that smoking has continued to decline while vaping is on the rise, and so in this sense vaping is not a gateway activity to taking up real cigarettes. America’s pediatricians, however, still feel more vaping going on is a bad trend.

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Statistics say that e-cigarettes and other vaping products are on track to out-sell cigarettes by the end of 2023. Many do contain nicotine, and while they are generally less harmful than cigarettes, some do contain and emit known carcinogens.

In reaction to the problem, a report issued recently by five leading public health organizations is calling on the government for help.

Doctors Call on the FDA

Doctors are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prohibit all flavored tobacco products and are urging Congress to step in. They want it to reject new legislation that would weaken the FDA’s authority, especially over e-cigarettes and cigars.

Related: E-cigarettes Are 95% Less Harmful Than Tobacco

But just how big is the danger to youth of using vaping products and flavored cigars? The Washington Post says, maybe not that large.

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Researchers, a report says, have found that most teens who vape don’t use cigarettes or go on to trying marijuana. Christopher Ingraham reports,

“as it turns out, the overwhelming majority of teens who experiment with vaping- about two-thirds of them — use only the flavored vaping juices that contain absolutely no nicotine, marijuana or other drugs.”

Related: E-Cigarettes Long Term Effects Less Harmful

Pediatricians Speak Up

Nonetheless, American medical professionals are concerned.

“As pediatricians, we do everything in our power to ensure that all children have the opportunity to grow up healthy and free from addiction to tobacco and nicotine,” says American Academy of Pediatrics president Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP.

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“Addressing the threat of tobacco, no matter the form it takes, is imperative to meet that goal. Coming in flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, it is no surprise that e-cigarettes and their highly-concentrated liquid nicotine refills have become popular among youth. The Academy will continue to urge Congress and the FDA to support and strengthen efforts that protect children from dangerous tobacco products.”

To read more on the issue, check out washingtonpost.com.

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