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Charting Pediatrics

Jan 30, 2024

While considerable progress has been made in reducing cigarette smoking among our nation’s youth, the tobacco product landscape continues to evolve. It includes a variety of tobacco products, including smokeless and electronic products such as e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes entered the U.S. marketplace around 2007, and since 2014 they have been the most used tobacco product among youth. E-cigarette use, among middle and high school students, remains unacceptably high and sets youth up for lifelong nicotine addiction and the effects of toxin exposure.  

In today’s episode, we are joined by Brian Williams, MD, a pediatric and adult hospitalist. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Williams has a research interest in how we promote vaping cessation in young people. “As a resident at UC San Diego, I grew sort of tired and frustrated by seeing patients suffering complications from secondhand smoke exposure,” Dr. Williams says. 

In San Diego, he founded a program that trained nurses to screen for tobacco exposure among the parents of pediatric patients. It worked, increasing screenings from 66% to nearly 100%. “The popularity of e-cigarettes is concerning, and we are seeing rising rates in both middle schoolers and high schoolers,” says Williams.

This episode was recorded at the 2023 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition. Some highlights from this episode include:  

  • Why are e-cigarettes so appealing to youth
  • Harmful ingredients in e-cigarettes
  • Potential impacts on brain development
  • How advertising impacts behavior

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