In This Section

E-Cigarettes: Striking a Balance between Preventing Youth Nicotine Addiction and Helping Current Adult Smokers Quit Combustible Cigarettes

Capitol Hill – Washington, D.C., July 18, 2018

E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle school and high school students for the fourth year in a row according to a 2018 CDC Report. Among youth who had used an e-cigarette, 17 percent indicated their reason for use was that they believe they are less harmful than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes. While e-cigarettes are likely less harmful to health than combustible cigarettes, there is also clear evidence that vaping can cause harm, especially when initiated at a young age. Because these products are new, many of the potential long-term harms are still unknown. As such, the U.S. Surgeon General recently declared e-cigarette use in young Americans a major public health concern.

The quickly rising rates of e-cigarette use in this population and high nicotine content of popular products like Juul have raised questions of whether we are now at high risk for addicting another generation to the harmful effects associated with nicotine.

This briefing updated the audience on the latest science pertaining to the effects and content of e-cigarettes and discussed the growing problem of youth use of e-cigarettes including a first-hand perspective of their impact from a reporter with The New Yorker. In addition, expert speakers offered potential solutions for halting the alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use, balanced with a need for research into whether these products could be effectively used for supporting smoking cessation in current adult nicotine users.

Honorary Cochairs:

  • The Honorable Dick Durbin, U.S. senator from the state of Illinois
  • The Honorable Jackie Speier, U.S. representative,14th congressional district of California


  • Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of medical oncology, Yale Cancer Center; chair, AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee
  • Brian Maslowski, seminar instructor, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
  • Rachel Grana Mayne, PhD, MPH, program director, Tobacco Control Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jia Tolentino, staff writer, The New Yorker
  • Benjamin Toll, PhD, professor of public health sciences and psychiatry, chief of tobacco cessation and health behaviors, co-director of Lung Cancer Screening Program, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina; AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee member