A column by the editorial board of the The New York Times examines the dangers of e-cigarettes and the use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school students.
Nicotine is highly addictive, no matter how it is taken in. Even without burning tobacco, e-cigarettes carry real health risks. Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain and cause lasting cognitive damage. It is also possible that once addicted to nicotine, young people will progress to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Major tobacco companies are selling e-cigarettes with the same tactics used to promote conventional cigarettes in the past, such as targeting teenagers with special promotions and flavoring their products. As The Times reported last week, while some students say they use e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes or marijuana, others who have never smoked are now using e-cigarettes, raising the possibility that they might be hooked by the nicotine.