E-cigarette use has tripled among teenagers in the past year. According to a recently released report by the CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention), while cigarette smoking is down, e-cigarette use has indeed tripled in just one year and e-cigarettes are now reportedly the most popular tobacco product among teenagers.
The CDC report revealed that in 2014, 2.5 million middle and high school students engaged in e-cigarette use. Teenagers are said to be drawn to e-cigarette use not only for the novelty but because of the variety of different flavors. Some adolescents like that smoking an e-cigarette has the same effect as smoking a regular cigarette but with the added attraction of all the popular flavors.
The most significant change concerned high school students. Between 2011 and 2014, e-cigarette use was shown to have risen from only 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent. Conventional cigarette smoking dropped from 16 percent to 9 percent.
An e-cigarette uses a battery to heat and convert flavoring, liquid nicotine and other chemical substances into a vapor which the user inhales. While the CDC reports there is no tar or smoke, the agency states nicotine is addictive and more importantly in this case can have adverse effects on the development of the adolescent brain.
The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), which does not as of yet, regulate e-cigarettes, has also previously expressed concerns about the contents of the inhaled vapor. They do have the power to regulate e-cigarettes because they are still tobacco products. A spokesperson for the FDA reported that they hope to have regulations–such as age restrictions—finalized before June of this year.
Matthew Myers, executive director of the advocacy group Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids told the press: “The news that cigarette smoking is at an all-time low is colored by the fact that we have seen the greatest explosion in the use of e-cigarettes that one could imagine.”.
Myers concluded: “There have also been studies showing because of the lack of controls of what’s in e-cigarettes, some of them give off formaldehyde. What we’ve also seen is that some substances that are benign in food like vanilla when heated and inhaled become highly dangerous to the lungs.”
E-Cigarette Use Triples Among Teens