The AAP Section on Tobacco Control is proud to announce the release of three new tobacco control policy statements and one technical report.
A lot has changed in the world of tobacco control since the Academy last published a policy statement on the subject- Use of tobacco and nicotine products other than cigarettes, such as hookahs, little cigars, and e-cigarettes is on the rise. The role of the promotion of tobacco products, including cigarette use in the movies and other media, in increasing tobacco product use among youth is now much better understood. The benefits to children’s health of clean air legislation, including smoking bans in bars, workplaces, restaurants, and other buildings, have been clearly documented. The harm to children and adolescents of involuntary smoke exposure in vehicles, multi-unit housing and from outdoor smoking in public areas is more well-recognized.
On the policy side, Tobacco 21 legislation, which raises the age of sale of tobacco products to 21 years has grown in popularity since the last AAP policy statement. While this has been mostly seen on the local level through grassroots initiatives, Hawaii became the first state to pass this legislation, and it will take effect next year. Other states are currently debating similar measures, and national legislation was recently introduced in both houses of Congress.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems, or e-cigarettes, have exploded in popularity, and thus we have devoted an entire policy statement to these devices. This statement provides an overview of the current science and discusses how e-cigarettes pose a threat to child health, and do not just release “harmless water vapor”. If you are familiar with the topic, I’m sure you can imagine how difficult it was to finalize our report since new articles are being published every day! We were approved to fast-track this statement in response to a growing concern from these products and continued requests from our members for concrete guidance, and you can be sure that we will update the statement when needed, and keep the Academy membership informed of important new research and developments in this area.
One thing that has not changed since the last Academy statement- tobacco remains a pediatric disease that we all play a role in combating.