The use of E-cigarettes among teens has put millions of young people on
a path to addiction, and the Food & Drug Administration recently took
action against retailers and manufacturers for their role in the crisis.
The FDA issued fines and sent warning letters to pharmacies, groceries
and convenience stores that are illegally selling e-cigarettes to minors.
It also gives manufacturers 60 days to show they have stopped marketing
their products to young people or they could face criminal prosecution.
E-cigarettes are battery-charged devices that convert liquid nicotine into
mist or vapor that the user inhales. They were designed for adults to
help wean them from cigarettes, but sleek designs and flavored products
(cotton candy, bubblegum, peppermint and green apple) have instead encouraged
excessive use among middle schoolers and high school students.
Many kids refer to their habit as “vaping” or “Juul-ing”
(JUUL Labs controls about 70% of the market). And they don’t think
of it in the same way as smoking cigarettes. Some of the most popular
e-cigs look like USB flash drives and use small flavor cartridges. They
are easy to hide from teachers and parents, and even easier to purchase.
When teens get turned away at the checkout counter, they simply buy their
“The flavors draw them in and the nicotine keeps them hooked,”
said Dr. Vincent Nguyen. “It’s really important for parents
to find out if their kids are using e-cigarettes. Nicotine addiction can
harm brain development and studies show that kids who ‘vape’
are more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes. After all we’ve
done to reduce teen smoking, we don’t want to raise another generation
of smokers with serious health problems.”
Vincent Nguyen, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Family Medicine (Prairieville)
Phone: (225) 673-8983
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