HomeWashington Letter2016 ▶ E-Cigarette Report Released by U.S. Surgeon General
E-Cigarette Report Released by U.S. Surgeon General

December 2016

Last week, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, released a report on e-cigarettes.  The report focused on the significant growth of e-cigarette use by youth, outlined known and potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes and called for immediate policy action.  The major findings of the report are:

  • E-cigarettes are a rapidly emerging and diversified class of products typically delivering nicotine, flavorings, and other additives to users via inhaled aerosol.
  • E-cigarette use among youth and young adults has become a public health concern.
  • E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth.   E-cigarette use is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products among youth and young adults, including combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes.
  • The use of products containing nicotine poses dangers to youth, pregnant women and fetuses. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe.
  • E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless.  It can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including nicotine.
  • E-cigarettes are marketed by promoting flavors and using a wide variety of media channels and approaches that have been used in the past for marketing conventional tobacco products to youth and young adults.
  • Action can be taken at the national, state and local levels to reduce youth and young adult use of e-cigarettes.

The ATS has consistently urged the FDA to use its full authority to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.  The FDA recently issued final regulation exerting its authority over all products, including e-cigarettes.  These rules have been challenged by the e-cigarette industry in federal court.  The ATS has filed an amicus brief in support of the FDA's authority to regulate e-cigarette products.

Last Reviewed: October 2017