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U.S. Surgeon General: E-Cigarette Use Threatens Youth Health

American Lung Association urges Congress not to weaken FDA authority to protect our nation’s youth from e-cigarettes

(December 8, 2016) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to today's release of "E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General":

"The groundbreaking U.S. Surgeon General's report – the first ever on e-cigarettes – sounds the alarm that e-cigarette use is not safe. The Surgeon General concludes that flavors appeal to kids and that these flavors are one of the primary reasons youth and young adults try an e-cigarette for the first time. Federal, state and local policymakers must heed this call from the Surgeon General to protect our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco.

"The Surgeon General underscores why it is so important that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) be allowed to use its authority to protect our nation's youth from these tobacco products. Congress should listen to the Surgeon General and support FDA's steps to protect children and stand up to the tobacco industry's efforts to block commonsense safeguards.

"The Surgeon General also found that exposure to the aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless – specifically concluding that e-cigarette aerosol is not just 'harmless water vapor.' Instead, this aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine and carcinogens. The American Lung Association calls on all states to include e-cigarettes in their comprehensive smokefree workplace laws – as nine states and the District of Columbia have already done.

"The threat caused by e-cigarettes to the health of our nation's youth is real. The Surgeon General concludes that nicotine – contained in many e-cigarettes as well as in e-cigarette aerosol – is highly addictive and harmful to both fetuses and the developing brains of youth. Over half of younger combusted tobacco users – those that use cigarettes and cigars – also use e-cigarettes. And those younger e-cigarette users may transition to becoming regular combusted tobacco product users. The American Lung Association urges states to act to reduce youth initiation by funding youth tobacco prevention programs. States and communities must also pass Tobacco 21 laws to raise the minimum age of sale to 21 for all tobacco products." 

The entire Surgeon General's report can be found at

For media interested in scheduling an interview with an expert about youth and e-cigarettes and tobacco use, contact Allison MacMunn at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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