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The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.

In a report being released Thursday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledges a need for more research into the health effects of “vaping,” but says e-cigarettes aren’t harmless and too many teens are using them.

Murthy says he worries that e-cigarettes “have the potential to create a whole new generation of kids who are addicted to nicotine.”

Because it contains fewer of the harmful compounds of regular cigarettes, vaping was first pushed as safer for current smokers.

There’s no scientific consensus on the risks or advantages. But federal figures show that last year, 16 percent of high school students reported at least some use of e-cigarettes, even some who’ve never smoked a conventional cigarette.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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