E-Cigarette use among children and young people: the need for regulation

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2015 Oct;9(5):507-9. doi: 10.1586/17476348.2015.1077120. Epub 2015 Aug 7.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are devices designed to deliver nicotine to the body via the route of inhalation. The principle of operation is based on heating a nicotine solution in propylene glycol and/or glycerine (e-liquid), turning it into aerosol (commonly called 'vapour'), which is then inhaled by the user. The scientific evidence on the health consequences of long-term e-cigarette use is sparse and currently inconclusive. Young people are the most vulnerable group to initiate use of e-cigarettes. The novelty of the e-cigarette, perceptions about the harmlessness of the product, a wide variety of flavours (fruit, chocolate, peanut butter, bubble gum, gummy bear, amongst others), and peer-influence are just a few examples of factors contributing to the e-cigarette popularity among youth. The comprehensive e-cigarette regulations need to include rules on marketing, safety of newly introduced products (nicotine dosage, packaging, and labelling), marketing limitations, and banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

Keywords: adolescent; electronic cigarettes; nicotine; smoking; tobacco; youth.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / adverse effects*
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*