MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarettes should be subject to the same laws that apply to tobacco products, and the federal government should ban the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes to young people, a new American Heart Association policy statement says.
The group also called for thorough and continuous research on e-cigarette use, marketing and long-term health effects.
"Over the last 50 years, 20 million Americans died because of tobacco. We are fiercely committed to preventing the tobacco industry from addicting another generation of smokers," Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association (AHA), said in an association news release.
"Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation's youth, and could renormalize smoking in our society," Brown said. "These disturbing developments have helped convince the association that e-cigarettes need to be strongly regulated, thoroughly researched and closely monitored."
The recommendations were published Aug. 25 in the AHA journal Circulation.
"E-cigarettes have caused a major shift in the tobacco-control landscape," statement author Aruni Bhatnagar, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville, said in the news release.
"It's critical that we rigorously examine the long-term impact of this new technology on public health, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and pay careful attention to the effect of e-cigarettes on adolescents," he urged.
The AHA noted that a recent study found that youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising rose 250 percent from 2011 to 2013, and now reaches roughly 24 million young people.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to immediately implement promised measures to regulate the marketing and sales of e-cigarettes, the AHA said.
"In the years since the FDA first announced it would assert its authority over e-cigaret
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