Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and exposure to tobacco smoke harms children from conception forward. There is no safe level of tobacco exposure. Although overall smoking rates have declined, the advent of new products, such as electronic cigarettes, threatens to perpetuate nicotine addiction without clear health benefits. In addition to reviewing traditional and new tobacco products, we discuss the unique role that pediatricians should play in tobacco treatment and control efforts. New policies and technologies can empower pediatric clinicians and pediatric health care systems to help parent smokers quit, and new policies outside of the health care setting might help prevent smoking initiation as well as improve cessation treatments. Future research is needed to continue to study the consequences of tobacco use exposure as well as the best ways to help patients and parents stop tobacco use.
Keywords: children; electronic cigarettes; secondhand smoke exposure; tobacco; tobacco policy; tobacco treatment.
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