Man exhales e-cigarette vapour in park in Kiev
Representational image Reuters

The American Lung Association gave the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) an "F" grade for lack of action in protecting teens from possible e-cigarette addiction.

In its latest annual State of Tobacco Control report, the organization accused the FDA of being passive on the issue of vaping and this weakness is what is placing many Americans' health and lives at risk. Without the government's strong campaign against e-cigarettes, they said the number of high schoolers who had taken up vaping as a hobby had gone up 78 percent — and that's from 2017 to 2018 alone.

The FDA is responsible for regulating the distribution and use of vape products but 20.8 percent of teens are still using it. In fact, it has gone so high that teen vape use has now been declared an epidemic. The ALA said there's nobody else to blame but the government. In its news release, national president and chief executive Harold P. Wimmer called out the FDA's "disturbing failure" to prevent and reduce its use.

Plenty of studies have shown the e-cigarette users are no better than those who use regular cigarettes. Often thought as the healthier alternative, vaping has its own set of health risks so it could never be considered "safe." In fact, it has been proven to place users at a much greater risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease and stroke. E-cigarettes work by heating and vaporizing a liquid that typically contains nicotine and certain flavorings. Even the flavorings themselves, which are largely chemically produced, have been linked to vascular problems.

No state was given an "A" mark by the State of Tobacco Control in its 2019 report, but the best grades were given to California, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Maine, Hawaii and Massachusetts. The lowest grades "F" were given to Texas, Mississippi, Missouri and Virginia. The organization also pointed out that not one state has allocated enough funding for its tobacco prevention campaign according to the Center for Disease Controls' set minimum.

This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.