Surgeon General: “E-Cigarettes Emerging Public Health Threat”
In a report released to the public on December 8, the surgeon general said the growing use of electronic cigarettes has the potential to “create a whole new generation of kids who are addicted to nicotine.”
He called e-cigarettes an “emerging public health threat” for young people, emphasizing that they are not harmless and too many adolescents are using them.
Along with the report, the surgeon general’s office has created a website that features the following information:
- A primer on how electronic cigarettes work
- Details of e-cigarette usage trends
- Examples of teen beliefs regarding e-cigarettes
- Talking points for parents
- A message stating that health professionals are credible sources of information about electronic nicotine delivery systems
While not all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they often include harmful ingredients such as diacetyl; a chemical flavoring that has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious and potentially fatal lung disease contracted when inhaling diacetyl fumes and the subject of diacetyl lawsuits.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that it is safe to consume diacetyl in trace amounts, inhaling it can lead to scar tissue build-up in the lungs, blocking airflow and potentially damaging the lungs permanently.