By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – One in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes, an increase of 75 percent from 2017. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says this threatens to unravel five decades of public health gains regarding tobacco use.

The AAP is renewing its call for the federal government to ban the marketing and sales of e-cigarettes to people under 21.

E-cigarettes pose a threat to young people in part due to the solutions that teens are vaping which contain toxins and cancer-causing chemicals and the nicotine which is highly addictive and can affect brain development. But young people who use e-cigarettes are also at high risk of moving on to traditional cigarettes.

The FDA has taken some steps to try to protect young people but the academy thinks more can be done like regulating e-cigarettes like traditional cigarettes and to ban sales to minors.

The AAP also want pediatricians to screen kids for e-cigarette use and provide prevention counseling. The AAP says e-cigarettes should be kept out of homes, cars and public places where children and teens live, learn, play and work.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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