According to a report released Thursday by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), over 16 million children age 17 and under live in Washington, D.C. and 10 states that permit them to purchase e-cigarettes legally in spite of the safety concerns. The 10 states include Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Michigan, Massachusetts and Maine. The 40 remaining states have already banned the sale of e-cigarettes, e-cigars and related products to minors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a dramatic rise in the number of high school students who said they had tried e-cigarettes. This included some minors who had never smoked cigarettes.
The National Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that 4.5 percent of high school students and 1.1 percent of middle school students “smoked” e-cigarettes in the month before the 2013 survey in spite of previous warnings concerning the dangers of e-cigarettes. CDC officials also reported that there has been a significant surge in the quantity of emergency phone calls to poison centers involving e-cigarettes.
Tim McAfee director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health said: “We know e-cigarettes are not safe for youth. While (e-cigarettes) may have the potential to benefit established adult smokers if used as a complete substitute for all smoked tobacco products, (they) should not be used by youth and adult non-tobacco users because of the harmful effects of nicotine and other risk exposures, as well as the risk for progression to other forms of tobacco use.”
At present, 26 states and Washington, D.C. already have laws banning smoking in bars, restaurants and work-sites. Only three of them, however—Utah, North Dakota and New Jersey—prohibit the use of e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems indoors.
Senior scientific advisor in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, Dr. Brian King, concluded: “Exposure to nicotine can harm adolescent brain development and can be toxic to fetuses.”
10 States Still Selling E-Cigarettes To Minors