Toxic and addictive effects of nicotine in children and adolescents: are we sleepwalking into a public health disaster?

Scottish Premier League mid-table side Livingston FC have announced a new sponsorship deal. It might not sound like much to UK paediatricians, but it’s the latest commercial link between sport and the vaping industry. The UK has worked hard to reduce children’s exposure to combustible tobacco and its toxic by-products such as nicotine. Since the 1960s, teenage cigarette smoking has steadily declined through a campaign highlighting the negative health effects, stopping advertising, banning use in social spaces, raising of legal age and restricted access to stores. The alarming increase, from 3% to 43%, in the number of teens using e-cigarettes/vaping (2011-2018) has effectively reversed much of this work to eliminate nicotine exposure and addiction. In the UK, the current approach and legislation to vaping products is based on the assumption that they are safer than combustible tobacco and offer harm reduction to addicts. In this article, we advocate the application of legislation similar to that which applies to other nicotine delivery devices to vaping products due to concerns about their safety profile and potential risks to children before birth and beyond.

Everyone knows vaping is safe, right?

Nut et al reported that e-cigarettes are “95% safer” than standard cigarettes, which is frequently cited in government documents and mainstream media.1 This dramatic discovery was not based on a scientific review of published evidence, but rather on 12 invited people who participated in a Delphi process. Two had financial ties to the vaping industry (not stated by one), and…

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