New position statement warns of the threat of e-cigarettes to young people

A summary of research published in Frontiers in Paediatrics

A new position statement has warned about the threat of e-cigarettes to children and young adults. The European Academy of Paediatrics joins other leading organisations, including the European Respiratory Society, to highlight the risks of e-cigarettes as the demand for these products grows around the world.

In this new paper, the Academy set out 10 statements about e-cigarettes and children and young people. These include:

  • E-cigarettes should be considered dangerous until proven otherwise. There are thousands of different types of these products, and it is not known whether they are toxic in the long-term.
  • The Academy states that e-cigarettes are a gateway to nicotine addiction. We must prevent nicotine addiction and its negative health effects in young people.
  • The Academy calls for an immediate ban on adding flavourings to e-liquids. The flavouring is a deliberate attempt to make the products more appealing and does not make them a good way to stop smoking.
  • Whether or not they contain nicotine, e-cigarettes contain many other chemicals. Some have already been proven to be harmful and others we do not yet know. The Academy states that children and young people should be protected from these effects; this includes breathing in second-hand fumes.
  • Social media is being used to attract young people, including under-age children to start and continue to use e-cigarettes. The Academy recommends that social media companies take responsibility for this and take steps to prevent it happening.

Read the full statement and list of recommendations

Title: E-Cigarettes as a Growing Threat for Children and Adolescents: Position Statement from the European Academy of Paediatrics