Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Keep E-Cigarettes Out of Schools

Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” are widely accessible and growing in popularity. Several states have already passed legislation to include e-cigarettes in nonsmoking laws or to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Texas physicians are calling on lawmakers to regulate e-cigarettes and restrict minors’ access to these products. Physicians are concerned e-cigarette use by minors could be a pathway to future tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

Houston radiologist Joel Dunnington, MD, testified before the House Public Education Committee, asking legislators to support House Bill 456 by Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), which would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on school campuses.

“The marketing to young people of these products worries physicians,” Dr. Dunnington told committee members. “We join others in expressing concern that young people using these products will also use other tobacco products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported e-cigarette use among U.S. students in grades 6-12 doubled from 2011 to 2012. In 2013 almost 5 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes.”

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