With use of e-cigarettes growing among kids, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) is calling on governments to curb and control the industry.
“Youth are experimenting with e-cigarettes in increasing numbers. Without regulatory controls and appropriate warnings, this is another generation at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, CPS past-president and author of a new statement released today. “Our governments urgently need to start treating e-cigarettes like traditional tobacco products.”
Dr. Stanwick says using e-cigarettes, which are marketed as safer alternatives to traditional smoking, risks opening the door to nicotine dependency. He is concerned that the devices will reverse decades of hard-fought decreases in tobacco use among children and youth.
E-cigarettes generate a substantial amount of toxins and heavy metals – including formaldehyde – at levels that can exceed conventional cigarettes. Children and youth are particularly at risk of harm from these toxins, which may cause or worsen breathing problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
Nicotine poisonings from e-liquids and discarded cartridges are also on the rise among children, with toxic effects rivalling those of conventional cigarettes.
In the statement, the CPS recommends that the federal government:
- Expand regulations governing marketing, packaging and labelling of e-cigarettes as has been done with conventional tobacco products.
- Strictly enforce maximum dosage of nicotine in e-liquids and the use of child-resistant containers.
- Ban e-cigarette-related advertising intended to appeal to children and youth.
The CPS is also calling on provincial and territorial governments to:
- Make it illegal for anyone to buy, possess or use e-cigarette products if they are not old enough to buy tobacco products (the minimum age is set by provinces and territories).
- Require e-devices and e-liquids to be sold only in venues where tobacco is sold legally.
- Expand all current restrictions on smoking in public spaces or workplaces to e-cigarettes.
“As Canadians, we have a right to clean air,” said Dr. Stanwick. “All levels of government should continue a legacy of protecting this right for children and youth.”
Source: Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)