E-cigarette use among United States youth becomes an ‘epidemic’

Daniel Fowler
November 16, 2018

The proposed ban, which would also include flavored cigars, is aimed at "addressing the disturbing trend of youth nicotine use and continuing to advance the historic declines we've achieved in recent years in the rates of combustible cigarette use among kids", he added. Gottlieb emphasized in the statement that e-cigarettes, which contain fewer cancer-causing chemicals than traditional cigarettes and create an aerosol by heating a typically nicotine-packed liquid in a handheld vaporizer, can be a valuable tool for adults looking to quit smoking.

"Commissioner Gottlieb clearly understands the important role e-cigarettes, specifically flavored products, play in transitioning adult smokers off of deadly, risky combustible cigarettes", Abboud said in a statement.

All e-cigarettes on the market will have to go through a review process.

Earlier this week, Chicago filed lawsuits against eight online retailers, mostly based in Florida and California, for selling e-cigarette products directly to Chicago residents under the age of 21. "All the flavors were out there already", said Kenneth Warner, a University of MI emeritus public health professor who is a leading authority on smoking and health. One of the most popular devices, made by San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc, has become a phenomenon at USA high schools, where "Juuling" has become synonymous with vaping.

The reason mint- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes are not included is they are more popular with adults who may be using them to decrease or stop their use of traditional cigarettes.

Data released on Thursday by the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a 78 percent increase in high school students who reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, compared with the prior year.

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At the same time, the FDA announced a proposal to ban menthol in combustible cigarettes and cigars.

Health experts applauded the FDA move.

FBN's Stuart Varney on the FDA's potential restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes and NY state's efforts to ban flavored e-cigarettes completely.

E-cigarettes are often promoted as a means to stop smoking. Technically, the FDA has only announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to alter the regulations.

"I feel we have a huge responsibility to make sure that we keep the vapes out of children's hands and of all minors", said Bo Hiser, manager of Speakeasy Vaporium.

"The changes I seek would protect kids by having all flavored ENDs products - other than tobacco, mint and menthol flavors or non-flavored products - sold in age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification", Gottlieb said. The agency never said that. "But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem". "We'll leave no stone unturned".

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