Should NH do more to prevent e-cigarette use by teens?

Dec 12, 2016

BY: Citizens Count

A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General says that e-cigarette use among high schoolers grew 900% from 2011 to 2015. 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that one in four high-schoolers have used e-cigarettes. 

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that release an aerosol containing nicotine and other additives.

While there is still much to learn about e-cigarettes, the Surgeon General report emphasizes that e-cigarettes are potentially very harmful to youth. Negative effects “include addiction, priming for use of other addictive substances, reduced impulse control, deficits in attention and cognition, and mood disorders.” 

In New Hampshire, it is illegal for minors to purchase or use e-cigarettes. However, the Surgeon General report recommends additional regulations, such as restricting e-cigarette marketing.

Rep. Timothy Horrigan has requested a 2017 bill “requiring child resistant packaging for electronic cigarette cartridges.”

Opponents of additional e-cigarette regulations argue that the issue is better addressed at the federal level so that there is not a patchwork of state laws.

Other opponents argue that the harm of e-cigarettes is overstated.

Do you think New Hampshire should add regulations to prevent teenagers from using e-cigarettes? Share your opinion in the comments.

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Timothy Horrigan
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Representative, NH House of Representatives (2008 - present); City Chair, Lebanon Democratic Committee; Campaign Staff, Dukakis for President; Volunteer, Edwards for President Campaign; Seacoast Regional Council Chair, MoveOn (2008); Writer and Co

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