With the e-cigarettes industry’s recent boom, it’s no surprise that vaping is also exploding in popularity among teens. Newly released data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that teen use of e-cigarettes in the States tripled to 13.4 per cent from 2013 to 2014, overtaking traditional cigarettes. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Let us DISCUSS.
The CDC report shows that as e-cigs have grown in popularity, cigarettes use has in fact fallen—from 16 per cent to 9 per cent from 2011 to 2014. Therein lies the challenge in interpreting the data.
Research on e-cigs is scant, but its dangers probably lie somewhere in between smoking and a nicotine-free lifestyle. If e-cigarettes are leading to more teens to quit smoking, that is a (comparatively) good thing. But if it’s getting more teens addicted to nicotine, then that’s a bad thing. Unfortunately, it seems like a little bit of both.
What’s less ambiguous, though, is that e-cig manufacturers are packaging their products to appeal to teens, with bright colours and flavours like Unicorn Puke. UNICORN PUKE! (Which one teen described as “every flavour Skittle compressed into one” to the New York Times.) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now looking to regulate e-cigarettes, but with the dearth of available research, that’ll take years. Who knows that kids will be smoking vaping by then.
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