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19 December 2013

Fears that e-cigarettes may lead to tobacco use

A poll conducted by the University of Michigan shows that 44% of parents worry that e-cigarettes will encourage kids to use tobacco products.

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A poll conducted by the University of Michigan shows that 44% of parents worry that e-cigarettes will encourage kids to use tobacco products.

Advocates of e-cigarettes say they are a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking and argue it may help smokers to quit while critics counter that e-cigarettes may have health risks and may encourage people and kids or teens to smoke tobacco. Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration.

New laws

Adults also expressed widespread support for new laws regarding e-cigarettes: 88% think manufacturers should be required to test e-cigarettes for safety and 86% favour prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. 71% of adults support restricting the marketing of e-cigarettes on social networking sites.

E-cigarettes are a relatively new product, with little information about safety or long-term health effects. However, the public is clearly aware of the devices and concerned about their impact, according to this month’s poll results,” says Matthew M Davis, M.D., and director of the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“In 2010, the poll also asked about e-cigarettes and at that time only one-third of adults had heard of the product. In this poll, that number jumped to 86%.”

“We hope that the results of this poll spur more discussion about what governments can do to regulate e-cigarettes or restrict sales to minors. After all, taking these steps now will allow us to protect the health of both children and adults in the future.”

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