Apparently, there are growing concerns about the use of e-cigarettes by children and teens. A new poll from the University of Michigan found 44 percent of adults are worried the devices will encourage young people to start smoking.
“This poll shows high levels of concern about e-cigarettes and the possibility that kids who try them could start smoking tobacco,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in a press release.
The University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health also found nearly half of parents are concerned their child will try e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain replaceable cartridges of liquid nicotine, which is inhaled as a vapor along with flavors like chocolate, fruit, candy or even tobacco.
“E-cigarettes are a relatively new product, with little information about safety or long-term health effects. However, the public is clearly aware of the devices and concerned about their impact, according to this month’s poll results,” said Davis.
The poll’s key findings:
- 86 percent of adults had heard of e-cigarettes
- Only 13 percent of those surveyed had tried one
- 65 percent adults think e-cigarettes should have health warnings
- Among parents, 48 percent were very or somewhat concerned their children will try e-cigarettes
Adults also expressed widespread support for new laws regarding e-cigarettes:
- 88 percent think manufacturers should be required to test for safety
- 86 percent favor prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors
- 71 percent support restricting the marketing of e-cigarettes on social networking sites
“In 2010, the poll also asked about e-cigarettes and at that time only one-third of adults had heard of the product. In this poll, that number jumped to 86 percent,” said Davis.
Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, 26 states have regulations prohibiting sale to minors.
“We hope the results of this poll spur more discussion about what governments can do to regulate e-cigarettes or restrict sales to minors. After all, taking these steps now will allow us to protect the health of both children and adults in the future,” said Davis.