The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.
The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back.
The AMA cited a surge in underage teen use of e-cigarettes, which typically heat a solution that contains nicotine.
“It’s simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people.” Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA’s president, said in a statement.
The doctors’ group said a separate health issue also prompted its action — the recent U.S. outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping. Most of those sickened said they vaped THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, not nicotine. Officials believe a thickening agent used in black market THC vaping products may be a culprit.
The outbreak has “shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” Harris said. About 2,100 people have gotten sick; 42 have died.
The AMA has previously sought bans on e-cigarette flavors and ads.
Some observers say the AMA’s position is flawed and has little chance of achieving a sweeping ban.