AAP policy calls for reforms to combat rise in youth e-cigarette use

The most common tobacco product used by youths is e-cigarettes, say the American Academy of Pediatrics' Brian P. Jenssen, MD, MSHP, FAAP, and Susan C. Walley, MD, CTTS, FAAP. Data from 2018 reveals that one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes, a 75% increase from 2017.

The most common tobacco product used by youths is e-cigarettes, say the American Academy of Pediatrics' Brian P. Jenssen, MD, MSHP, FAAP, and Susan C. Walley, MD, CTTS, FAAP. Data from 2018 reveals that one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes, a 75% increase from 2017. Ways to curb the use of all forms of tobacco use include enacting population-based strategies, such as restricting the advertising of e-cigarettes to youth. FDA recently announced steps to protect young people by restricting the availability of some flavored e-cigarettes in certain locations. Pediatricians should screen for e-cigarette use and exposure and provide prevention counseling in clinical practice. Additionally, pediatricians should not recommend e-cigarettes for the treatment of tobacco dependence. Public policy recommendations include implementing FDA oversight of e-cigarettes similar to traditional cigarettes and prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals younger than age 21 years. AAP "continues to advocate for stronger regulation to protect youth from e-cigarettes. Regulation, legislative action and counter promotion are critically needed to minimize the potential public health harm from e-cigarette use and help youth live tobacco-free lives," the authors conclude.