The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stressed the need to protect youngsters from ill-effects of tobacco and nicotine. They have strongly recommended that the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, should be increased to 21 years nationwide.
Karen M. Wilson from Children's Hospital Colorado said, "Tobacco use continues to be a major health threat to children, adolescents and adults. The developing brains of children and teens are particularly vulnerable to nicotine, which is why the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among adolescents is so alarming and dangerous to their long-term health."
AAP has urged the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems the same as other tobacco products. This includes age restrictions, taxes, bans on advertising to youth, and bans on flavored products that are particularly attractive to young people.
AAP said, "Child-resistant packaging is critically needed to protect curious young children from exposure to liquid nicotine. Liquid nicotine is extremely toxic; as little as half a teaspoon can be fatal if ingested by an average sized toddler. Protecting children from tobacco products is one of the most important things that a society can do to protect children's health."
The AAP recommendations have been published in the Pediatrics.