Electronic cigarettes pose a significant risk to youth and young adults, according to a new surgeon general’s report that recommends actions to protect their health.

On Dec. 8, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, released “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults,” which details the risks and trends around e-cigarettes, which are now more popular among young people than cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco or hookah pipes. Electronic cigarette use among young people in the U.S. increased 900 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to the report.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which Murthy said in the report can cause addiction and harm developing brains. The report also outlines what is unknown about e-cigarettes, noting gaps in scientific evidence.

“This report is being issued while these products and their patterns of use continue to change quickly,” Murthy said in the report’s preface. “However, although e-cigarettes generally emit fewer toxicants than combustible tobacco products, we know that aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless.”

To continue reading this news story from the February/March 2017 issue of The Nation’s Health, visit the newspaper online.