E-cigarettes could create a new generation of nicotine addicts
To the editor, On Dec. 18, the U.S. surgeon general — the nation’s top doctor — issued an advisory report declaring teen use of e-cigarettes an epidemic.
This is only the fifth time in the last 20 years an advisory has been issued, and for the first time ever for commercial tobacco products.
At a time when the rate of adult smoking is at an all-time low, the report details that e-cigarettes have taken a sharp increase among youth: One in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students admit they are willing to try e-cigarettes because they come in so many candy and fruity flavors.
The commercial tobacco industry plays upon youth interest in technology, with the most popular company making the JUUL in a sleek metal design that looks like a flash drive. JUUL saw a 600 percent increase in sales from 2016 to 2017.
We are running the risk of creating a new generation of people addicted to nicotine, many of whom are likely to switch to combustible cigarettes or become “dual users” in their lifetimes.
I’d like to thank the surgeon general for bringing attention to this important issue.