Washington, D.C., Sept. 5, 2013 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that the use of electronic cigarettes among middle school and high school students more than doubled from 2011 to 2012:
“The CDC’s disturbing data on the increased use of e-cigarettes by American teens is very alarming and reinforces the need for the Food and Drug Administration to take immediate action to oversee these products. The evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are particularly appealing to children and youth, likely because they, unlike conventional cigarettes, are available in a wide variety of appealing flavors, including fruit, chocolate and candy.
This report raises the concern that e-cigarettes may be an entry point for youths to begin using more traditional tobacco products, including cigarettes. It’s imperative that we keep the tobacco industry from addicting yet another generation of smokers. Every day, each of the 1,200 Americans who die from tobacco-related diseases is replaced by two smokers under the age of 26. If e-cigarettes are luring high school and middle school students into a lifetime of addiction, it represents a public health tragedy. We cannot sentence more young Americans to a lifetime of battling cardiovascular diseases because of tobacco addiction.
The CDC study supports the American Heart Association’s serious concerns about the potential public health effects of e-cigarettes, and we hope this new information will prompt swift action by the FDA to regulate this product before even more youngsters fall prey to tobacco use.”