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No e-cigs for kids

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

In a study published recently in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers from the Center for Tobacco Research and Education found that electronic cigarettes could be a “gateway” that introduces youth to smoking. Simply put, the use of e-cigarettes may encourage our youth to also try tobacco.

Nationally, we already have about 3 million students in high school or below smoking tobacco. And we know that the use of e-cigs among our youth is growing. This is alarming, particularly since nicotine — an addictive drug found in tobacco — is a key ingredient in an electronic cigarette.

Slick and aggressive marketing with glamorous and sexy images makes these devices look cool and attracts the interest of our younger generations. And flavors including cherry and gummi bears make them sound more like candy.

We don't need our teens being lured to products like this. It could have a devastating impact on their future health.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics have a simple message for elected leaders in Harrisburg — pass legislation to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of kids.

Bruce A. MacLeod & Allen Nussbaum

The writers are physicians and the presidents, respectively, of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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