The following is a message from Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Tobacco is a major threat to children’s health, no matter the form it takes. The American Academy of Pediatrics commends the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for taking new actions to help protect children from tobacco products and urges the agency to do more to stop the growing public health crisis of e-cigarette use among youth.
“FDA action to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, proven starter products for young people, will save thousands of today’s children from death and disease due to smoking. But just as flavored cigarettes appeal to children and teens, so do flavored e-cigarettes. FDA can and must do more to protect children and teens from these dangerous products.
“New data released today confirm what pediatricians have long been warning: e-cigarettes are threatening to addict a generation of young people to nicotine. Not only are we seeing a staggering increase in the number of high schoolers who use e-cigarettes, we’re seeing that more and more of them have moved beyond experimentation and are using e-cigarettes almost daily. This should be a call to action for FDA to take immediate, meaningful steps to stop this trend.
“Even with new sales restrictions announced today by FDA preventing flavored e-cigarettes from being sold at certain brick and mortar storefronts, teens will still find ways to access them. E-cigarette products that appeal to children have no business in the marketplace, period. FDA must take stronger action to protect young people. Pediatricians will not rest until these dangerous products are off the market and out of the hands of children and adolescents.”