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Health experts have urged to increase minimum age for tobacco and e-cigarette sales to 21

Pediatricians are urging to increase the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21 years old since the addiction to nicotine among teenagers is continuously increasing and has become a major problem in the United States.

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) is advising the US Food and Drug Administration to adjust the regulations regarding e-cigarettes the same way tobacco products are regulated in the country.

The AAP have presented general policies and recommendations, for example clinical guidelines to reduce tobacco dependence and exposure, the changes in public health policies and regulations regarding e-cigarettes. The study has been published in the Pediatrics journal.

The use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes should be banned in workplaces, health care facilities, restaurants, schools, parks, entertainment venues and bars, the study declared. Dr. Karen M. Wilson, chairman of AAP Section on Tobacco Control, said that tobacco use among children, adults and adolescents continues to be a major concern and threat. She explained how the developing brains are vulnerable to nicotine for teens and the increased popularity of e-cigarettes can be dangerous for their long-term health.

Researchers have recommended parents not to smoke e-cigarettes in front of their kids because exposure and ingestion of nicotine can be deadly to young children. The smoke of e-cigarettes also contains carcinogens, aside from nicotine.

The study said, child-resistant packaging of tobacco products should be developed by companies in order to prevent experiments from curious children.

The study further explained how dependence to tobacco and e-cigarettes starts during adolescence. Dr. Claire McCarthy, from the Boston Children’s Hospital, said further and advanced studies need to be done to show how the use of e-cigarettes may stop smoking habits and how the youth is affected with the use of e-cigarettes.

There is no current policy in regard to the regulation of e-cigarettes, FDA announced. However, researchers have advised health experts to start counseling families about the harm smoking can cause to their health, especially secondhand smoke to children.

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