Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin asked the US Surgeon General, Jerome Adamas, on Friday to take urgent measures to deal with the "epidemic" of lung diseases caused by the use of electronic cigarettes, or "vaping," among young people.
In a letter sent to the official, the main spokesman on public health issues in the federal government, Durbin said that the "explosion" of the use of these types of cigarettes among young people has been characterized as an "epidemic" by health authorities Pubic of the country.
The latest information on consumption reveals that there are 5 million users of electronic cigarettes, many of them teenagers, Durbin said.
This has caused at the same time an "alarming" amount of more than 380 cases of severe respiratory diseases associated with "vaping", with hospitalizations and up to six deaths, one of them registered in Illinois last month, he added.
In this state, according to Durbin, 52 cases of lung diseases caused by these cigarettes were confirmed, with an average age of 22 years, although there is a victim of only 15.
"In his role as chief medical officer of the nation, I urge him to use his experience and leadership to immediately launch a national strategy to educate, prevent and respond to the epidemic of electronic cigarette use among young people," the senator said in his letter .
Precisely this Friday, the 18-year-old Adam Hergenreder filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs, the leading manufacturer of electronic cigarettes in the United States and accused of deliberately focusing on the marketing of his product to young people.
The young man, who claims to have contracted a lung disease after "vaping" for a year, argues in an 85-page document presented at the Circuit Court of Lake County (Illinois), that the advertising campaign being carried out in the Social networks is misleading.
"We are led to believe that smoking electronic cigarettes is great, that it can raise our social status, but at no time is it mentioned that the product contains dangerous chemical ingredients," says the court brief.
Hergenreder, who lives in the suburb of Gurnee, near Chicago, was hospitalized from the end of August and until the 6th of this month, suffering from "significant lung damage," according to local media.
"We have never directed sales to young people," manufacturer Juul said in a statement Friday and said he is campaigning to combat "vaping" among minors.
He noted that his electronic cigarette aims to help adult smokers who want to abandon the use of traditional cigarettes made from tobacco.
. (tagsToTranslate) Senator (t) Illinois (t) urgent (t) measures (t) epidemic