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U.S. surgeon general e-cigarette report sparks controversy

Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. surgeon general in a report released on Thursday called for action to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young people, noting they have overtaken cigarettes to become the most commonly used tobacco products among this group.

Vivek Murthy, the country's top doctor, in the first surgeon general's report on e-cigarettes use among youths, said young people were more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure than adults and should be protected.

"We know a great deal about what works to effectively prevent tobacco use among young people," the report said. "Now we must apply these strategies to e-cigarettes."

The report recommends that e-cigarettes be incorporated into existing smoke-free policies to prevent youth from accessing e-cigarettes. Such policies include imposing price and tax policies that discourage use.

The report drew a swift and angry response from those who argue that e-cigarettes may have the potential to help smokers quit, thereby lowering the overall burden of death and disease caused by conventional cigarettes.

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