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Teens are being targeted…..

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Your Teens Are Being Targeted and Reached by the Advertising of E-Cigarettes: Do you know the facts and dangers of E-Cigarette use in Youth?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 7 in 10 middle and high school students, over 18 million youth, see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies! In addition, between 2011and 2014, e-cigarette use among high school students jumped from 1.5% to 13.4%, and among middle school students from 0.6%t to 3.9%. Advertising companies are using the same youth-oriented topics and tactics that were previously used to advertise tobacco products years ago, independence, rebellion, and sex, to attract our youth to try these products at a time when they are the most vulnerable. Almost ¾ of the e-cigarette vendors are also utilizing multiple social networks to market e-cigarettes that only require users to click a pop-up or dialog box to self-verify age and some vendors have no detectable age verification process. This advertising has since been made illegal for tobacco products, but remains completely unrestricted in the advertising of E-cigarette devices and has the potential to compromise decades of progress in preventing tobacco use and promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle among youths. More scary facts include that some youth who would have chosen not to smoke traditional cigarettes in the past are willing to try E-cigarettes. Finally, current research has also proven that E-cig devices are also being using to vaporize a variety of cannabis (the active ingredient in marijuana) products as well – in fact over ¼ of all E-cig users in high school are using it to vaporize a cannabis product.

This information should be very alarming to you as a parent and here is WHY!!!

E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use. With repeated exposure to nicotine there are increases in heart rate as well as elevation in cortisol which affects a person’s ability to manage and react to physical and emotional stresses on the body. The oils contained in E-cigarette are not standard across the industry and contain known toxins, including propylene glycol, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Additional studies have shown that the act of e-cigarette “vaping” adversely affects lung physiology similar to that observed with conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes serving are showing to be an initiation device for young people, who are eventually transitioning to regular cigarettes as well as using them for illegal cannabis oils as well.

E-Cigarettes are not the provocative, harmless alternative to traditional cigarette use that they are being advertised to our youth as and here’s what you can do to help!

Advocating and working at the local, state, and national level to require tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, only be sold in facilities that never admit youths; limit tobacco outlet density or proximity to schools, and require that e-cigarette purchases be made only through face-to-face transactions. Additionally adding e-cigarettes to the list of current tobacco products prohibited from being sent through U.S. mail and requiring age verification for online sales at purchase and delivery could also prevent sales to youths. Finally, working to increase regulation of e-cigarette advertising in media, Internet, and retail settings that appeal to youths or are viewed by a substantial number of youths.

As parents and healthcare providers, we also need to educate our youth on the danger and harmful use of e-cigarettes and continue to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Please feel free to ask questions at your next healthcare provider visit. We are here to help!

References

US Food and Drug Administration. Summary of results: laboratory analysis of electronic cigarettes conducted by FDA. July 22, 2009. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm173146.htmAccessed January 29, 2014.
Ungar L. E-cigarettes’ growing popularity poses danger to kids. USAToday.com. January 5, 2014.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/05/e-cigarettes-growing-popularity-poses-danger-to-kids/4320677/Accessed January 29, 2014.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Notes from the field: electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students — United States, 2011-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62:729-730.http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6235a6.htm?s_cid=mm6235a6_wAccessed January 29, 2014.
Truth Initiative. Vaporized: majority of youth exposed to e-cigarette advertising. Washington, DC: Truth Initiative; 2015. Available athttp://truthinitiative.org/research/vaporized-majority-youth-exposed-e-cigarette-advertising.
US Food and Drug Administration. Overview of device regulation. March 5, 2013.http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/Overview/default.htmAccessed January 29, 2014.

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