If you’re not allowed to drink, you shouldn’t be allowed to smoke, or at least that seems to be the intended goal of the American Academy of Pediatrics through their recommendations.
- The AAP wants to raise the age limit for all tobacco products to 21 years old
- They have targeted e-cigarettes for the purpose of imposing stricter regulations
- E-cigarettes have grown in popularity, even though there is no scientific proof that they’re safer
- The AAP suggested that e-cigarettes should be treated the same way as normal cigarettes by the law
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) avidly recommends and urges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to raise the legal age of any sort of tobacco product to 21 years old. This includes e-cigarettes, which have seen to a growing trend. Even more, the AAP have also called for much stricter regulations.
The use of cigarettes have seen a hopeful decrease since the 1970s. However, e-cigarettes are currently taking over. This is due to their advertised benefits of being much less harmless, and, because of their vaporizing technology, they’re allowed to be used in public places. It presents with multiple alleged perks that the younger generation swarms to.
And that, it itself, poses enough of a concern.
In 2014, young adults were more likely to use e-cigarettes than any other type of tobacco product. However, studies claim that their effects are not so innocent in the slightest. In fact, the aerosol emitted from the electronic sticks contain toxic chemicals. These are carcinogens, and contain nicotine, which may still trigger addiction. It also implies that they can be very harmful even as secondhand smoking.
Thus, the AAP is trying to get the FDA to provide with harsher regulations on e-cigarettes. They’re to be treated the same way as regular smokes, including taxes, banning them from being advertised to youth, and forbidding flavored products that appeal to young adults. The academy have also proposed a stricter age limit.
According to Dr. Karen Wilson, from AAP’s Tobacco Control, there are states where vendors can sell electronic cigarettes to children as young as 6 years old. This is especially worrying given that half a teaspoon of the nicotine liquid can essentially be lethal to a toddler. A year ago, U.S. poison control centers reported 3,000 cases where children were exposed to liquid nicotine. Unfortunately, they also recorded one fatality.
This has raised alarms on the use of electronic cigarettes by or around children. Because it’s essentially seen as ‘the safer alternative to cigarettes’, it can unknowingly cause damage. There is no scientific evidence sustaining that it’s effective against nicotine dependency. Actually, it’s likelier that e-cig users will eventually move on to regular cigarettes.
The AAP is proposing a ban of the electronic, vapor-emitting sticks in restaurants, health care facilities, parks, schools, and any other public place where their normal counterparts aren’t allowed already. Even more, the limit of all tobacco products has been suggested to be raised by three years.
According to the AAP, tobacco remains an “unique consumer product” in the sense that it harms and, essentially, kills when it’s used as intended. There is no amount that would be considered ‘safe smoking’.
Image source: ehp.niehs.nih.gov