The US surgeon general has just released a new report, calling electronic cigarettes a public health threat to adolescents.
Dr. Vivek Murthy says e-cigarettes are now the most common form of tobacco used by our youth, including more than three million middle school and high school students.
The report states the use of e-cigarettes among high school students has seen an alarming 900 percent increase from 2011 to 2015.
An article printed in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine states nicotine can harm the developing brains and lungs of babies all the way up to the teenage years, leading to altered brain function, as well as addiction.
Dr. Murthy is calling for the regulation of e-cigarettes by the FDA, as well as dramatic price hikes and increased taxes on e-cigarette products.
The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act went into effect nationwide in July, requiring that all e-cigarette materials be sold in child-resistant packaging.
If swallowed, just one vial of liquid nicotine is poisonous enough to kill four toddlers, and is toxic even when touched, as nicotine is absorbed through the skin, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
At least one accidental death has been linked to liquid nicotine after an 18-month-old boy in New York drank an opened vial of the fruit-flavored liquid, left unattended by relatives last year.
Since January, nearly 1,400 exposures to liquid nicotine have been reported, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, which is down from the previous three years.
Symptoms of liquid nicotine poisoning include rapid heart beat, vomiting, dizziness, and seizures.