E-Cigarettes Popularity Among Teens

E-Cigarettes Popularity Among Teens


The use of e-cigarettes among teenagers has tripled since 2014.  It was noted in an interview that some teenagers say e-cigarettes are as common as a laptop. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), traditional cigarette smoking has dropped, however, the use of e-cigarettes has gone from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014. Cigarette smoking among teens has been over 10 percent for a long time. This high percentage rate of 13. 4 for the growing popularity of e-cigarettes equates to over two million teens.

The data represents the popularity of the e-cigarettes  among middle and high school students.  E-cigarettes have also been called a vape pen.  It is battery operated to heat a variety of liquids in colorful containers filled with bubble gum, orange, apple or other appealing flavors. Although the e-cigarette does not contain tobacco and does not produce smoke, it does include an addictive nicotine.

According to the CDC, nicotine is harmful to the development of the brain of young people. The concern from the data, indicating this change in their use, is if it is causing a new generation of addicts, who could possibly want to  make the switch to traditional cigarettes. This data, noting the rise in e-cigarettes, also includes the use of hookah pipes. The significant factor is that there were 400,000 new tobacco smokers in 2014.

Traditional smoking among teenagers, which includes cigars and pipes, dropped from 16 percent to nine percent between 2011 and 2014. However, the question still remains to determine if the e-cigarette is a replacement to help a person stop smoking. The vaping market in the United States has grown to $17 billion in sales in a very short period of time in comparison to the $90 billion market for traditional cigarettes. It has been projected that e-cigarettes will surpass traditional cigarette sales in the next decade.

Steps have been taken to prevent the purchase of e-cigarettes by minors under eighteen years of age, but not without challenges. Forty-two states have processed a ban that prevents minors from making a purchase of e-cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration has considered taking some action, as well. Nevertheless, minors have ways to get what they want such as online sales that do not have the capability to prevent such action.

The American Cancer Society is against bills that ban the selling of e-cigarettes to minors because they believe that the state bills appear to be protecting the public, but may actually be promoting more use of nicotine and reverse all the work to promote clean air. Some have said that if teens are banned from purchasing them, they may want to try the e-cigarettes even more.

Some health groups do not support this ban due to a facade that could make smoking seem like normal activity. Further, there have been challenges to the language used, taxes on these products, and exactly where the vape products can be used.  With all the concerns that have been expressed, there is no scientific evidence on this matter. Lawmakers have stated that they want to find the right balance between protecting minors in an emerging industry.

By Marie A. Wakefield



New York Times [1]

New York Times [2]

USA Today

Photo by Mike Mozart – Flickr License