Amid ongoing vapid epidemic in the United States, which is almost forcing the government to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a new study has found that the use of flavored vaping products among American teenagers keeps increasing.
According to the study published in the journal Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, more than 2.4 million teens, who go to middle and high school, have said they have used flavored e-cigarettes at least once over the past month.
Lead study researcher Karen Cullen from the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA said, “Among teens, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used flavored tobacco product in 2018; flavored e-cigarette use has increased in recent years.”
In 2018, nearly 5 million teens said they had used flavored e-cigarettes over the past month, according to the National Youth Tobacco Surveys.
Lung specialists are concerned with the growing number of teenagers using flavored e-cigarettes because any product containing nicotine that is available in candy, fruit, or other flavors can lead to lifelong addiction.
Pulmonologist Dr. Len Horvitz from Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC, said, “In order to make vaping more enticing, flavors have been introduced into the manufacturing of both commercial brands and black market products.”
“Young people are attracted to the flavorings, but as they get older, they add other substances like nicotine and THC,” added Dr. Horovitz. “THC is the chemical in marijuana that provides a high.”
According to the latest figures by the CDC, 805 cases of severe respiratory disease related to vaping and 17 deaths have been reported across the United States.
Dr. Horovitz noted, “The exact cause of the illness is unclear, but diacetyl, often used in flavored vapes, has been implicated now in the pulmonary syndromes.”
The ongoing vaping epidemic among the youth has literally been forcing the federal and state governments to ban flavored e-cigarettes. The situation has become so worse that President Trump announced that his administration would bring up a ban on non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.
In fact, last week, Walmart announced that it is going to stop the sale of vaping products from its stores. Cullen believes that such efforts could be of great help.
Pulmonologist Dr. Mina Makaryus from Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, NY, said, “Many youths admit that flavored e-cigarettes are the major reason they started vaping.”
“Given the addictive nature of nicotine, these youth are now addicted to nicotine at a very young age, and they are more likely to continue using e-cigarettes and even start smoking regular combustion cigarettes in the future,” he continued. Dr. Makaryus added, “There also needs to be increased FDA regulation of e-cigarettes, including their marketing and targeting of underage youth.”