WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned this week that the use of e-cigarettes poses as a significant health risk to the young people who have been powering the movement.

“We already know that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause lasting harm to the health of young users,” said Murthy. “Most contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can damage normal development of the brain – a process that continues until about age 25.”

His comments were delivered as part of a report released Thursday on the rise of e-cigarette use by people younger than 25 years old.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while use of most tobacco products – such as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco – by high school students has declined in recent years, the use of e-cigarettes increased dramatically between 2011 and 2015. In April, the CDC estimated nearly 2.5 million high school students and about 620,000 middle school students were smoking e-cigarettes at least once per month. Although there are age restrictions on e-cigarettes, these are easily circumnavigated by asking older relatives or friends to buy these products on the child’s behalf or by using a fake ID which they can buy online from a website like this one (click here).

Murthy attributes advertisement as part of the blame, saying in a statement: “As [e-cigarettes] have been advertised more heavily, they have become much more popular among youth in middle and high school, and among young adults ages 18-25. One of every 6 high school students has used an e-cigarette cart in the past 30 days, and these products are now more popular with middle and high school students than traditional cigarettes.”

A survey conducted in 2014 of 22,000 middle and high school students found children who are exposed to e-cigarette advertising are more likely to use e-cigarettes. The CDC reported earlier this year that spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.

Murthy’s report adds that e-cigarettes can lead young people to use other tobacco products such as cigarettes, potentially as a result of becoming addicted to nicotine.

“Some studies show that non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than non-smoking youth who do not use e-cigarettes,” the report said, and notes that “among high school students and young adults who use tobacco, more use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products than use e-cigarettes alone.”

Unlike regulations on cigarettes and chewing tobacco, the FDA did not ban the targeting of minors in e-cigarette advertisements, or prohibit the sale of candy-flavored vapors that could appeal to children. It is also important to point out that there is eliquid that has 0% nicotine, in fact it’s more common to find eliquid that has no nitcotine than those that do, click here to find more info on flavoured eliquid with or without nicotine whichever is your preference.