Vaping Now, The Rising Epidemic Among High School Teens
The rapid spreading of the trend first caught traction in 2016 when according to CNN, the US Surgeon general cited a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school teens from 2011 to 2015. The 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey noted that 1.7 million high school students have used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days. For middle school kids, the number was 500,000.
The alarming increase of the fad raises concerns that some electronic companies are directing marketing to teens tailoring ads, campaigns and commercials to entice younger users. The growing shift from adult smokers to teenagers has caused the Food and Drug Administration to step in, warning popular e-cigarette companies such as the JUUL brand and others, to address the problem or risk having their flavored products removed from the market.
“No kid should be using any tobacco product,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous – and dangerous – trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating […] use we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction, must end. It’s simply not tolerable. […] The FDA won’t tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products. We’re going to be taking some enforcement actions very soon to target companies that we think are marketing products in ways that they’re deliberately appealing to kids.”
Citing NBC News, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told manufactures to come up with a plan moving forward, within the next two months to discourage teens from purchasing their products, threatening to ban all flavored vaping products. Although some companies all already making efforts to make it clear their products are for adult use only, Gottlieb believe that manufactures need to work together with the FDA to eliminate vape use of children and adolescents. As a part of the plan of action in hopes to address the epidemic, the FDA additionally has sent more than 1,300 warning letters to stores to stop the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to minors.