By Robert Preidt
"We found overwhelming public support of state efforts to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors," poll director Dr. Matthew Davis, a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Michigan, said in a university news release.
More than 75 percent of teens aged 13 to 18 and parents believe e-cigarette use should be restricted in public areas and that the devices should carry health warnings and be taxed like regular cigarettes, according to the national survey conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. The hospital is part of the Ann Arbor-based university system.
The poll, released Monday, also found that 81 percent of teens and 84 percent of parents think allowing minors to use e-cigarettes will encourage them to use other tobacco products. And more than half of teens and parents think it is easy for minors to buy e-cigarettes, while 71 percent of teens and 64 percent of parents support banning candy- and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes.
Fourteen percent of parents and 9 percent of teens said they have tried or currently use e-cigarettes, and 42 percent of teens said they know other teens who have used e-cigarettes.
All U.S. states except Michigan and Pennsylvania restrict e-cigarette sales to minors.
"Just as we are seeing declines in smoking of conventional cigarettes, there has been rapid growth in use of electronic cigarettes among youth. Our poll indicates that both parents and teens agree that e-cigarettes pose several concerns," Davis said.
"We found overwhelming public support of state efforts to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors," he added.
E-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Some people may be surprised that teenagers' views are remarkably consistent with what parents think about e-cigarettes," Davis said. "The strong level of agreement between parents and teens suggests that both groups are concerned about the health hazards of e-cigarettes."