NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
Find NIDA for Teens on: NIDAnews on Twitter NIDANIH on YouTube NIDANIH on Facebook
E-Cig Popularity on the Rise

E-Cig Popularity on the Rise

You are here

Sara Bellum
November 07, 2013

Cigarette smoking among American teenagers dropped to a record low in 2012. But are teens turning to a new alternative known as “e-cigarettes”?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals as vapor that a user inhales, without producing actual tobacco smoke. Some people assume e-cigs are healthier than traditional cigarettes.

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the use of e-cigs has doubled since 2011, raising the percentage of high school students who have tried them to 10%.

Why Are Teens Trying E-Cigs?                 

  • Advertising: Traditional cigarette TV ads have been banned since 1970, but most e-cigs are not regulated by the FDA. Because of this, they do not fall under the same advertising and marketing rules, so tobacco companies have been buying TV ad time to push e-cigs.
  • Flavors: The lack of FDA regulation has allowed tobacco companies to sell flavored e-cig products such as Bora Bora, with “pronounced notes of Exotic Island spice,” and Iced Berry, which claims to offer “immediate, irresistible refreshment.” These and other exotic flavors can sound very appealing to the younger crowd.
  • Selling to Teens: While more than 20 states have banned store sales to minors, e-cigs can still be bought online. Make no mistake about it—the tobacco companies want your money!

Aren’t E-Cigs Better Than Traditional Cigarettes?

We don’t know. Some companies advertise e-cigs as a way to lower nicotine cravings while causing less harm than traditional tobacco products, and some people claim e-cigs help them quit smoking. But there’s no actual evidence yet to support this claim.

The FDA has found that e-cigs might be safer than regular cigarettes because they do not release tar, carbon monoxide, and other poisons found in cigarettes. However, e-cigs still release carcinogens and other toxic chemicals, whose long-term effects are unknown.

What if you inhale the vapor of a few of these things every day—what will that do to your body over time? We just don’t know—do you want to be a guinea pig?

What’s in the Future for E-Cigs?

The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products may start regulating the sale of e-cigs. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act has given the FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products, and it will soon be decided if this includes the vaporized form of nicotine used in e-cigs.

For more information on electronic cigarettes, watch this NIDA TV Spotlight.

For information on safely quitting tobacco, see these smoking cessation products.

Comment on this post and tell us what you think: Do you know anyone who uses e-cigs?

Comments

that's correct, more kids are turning to "e stogs" or "g pens" because there easier to hide and take on the go.
Yes Smoking is a very bad habit. It should stopped rather than followed.
that is really dumb
ive never picked up a ciggerate i smoke an e-cig, ive smoked one for two years, i just went to a doctor and guess what?IM PERFECTLY FINE!!
Key word "YOUR" perfectly fine... you don't know if the next person will be fine, it's just way to early in research to know what damage if any e-cigs do to the body. We have to wait and see.
I think this report is outdated citing a report done by the FDA in 2009. It is no question e cigarettes have helped many people quit smoking. Do some research for is vaping safe and you will find more information in regards to the ingredients used.
I think this is a critical topic for teens to be aware of. The potential for nicotine addiction that in facts leads to tobacco use later in life is concerning. I am trying to spread the word to teens as well about e-cigs and how they might affect them via an online teen health content community called Real Talk with Dr. Offutt. [link removed, per guidelines].
I love vaping and I recommend it to everyone
Nicotine is a drug. Plain and simple. There is no 'safe' way to ingest a harmful drug.
I have a E-cig it helps me alot not to crave a regular cig so THANK YOU E-CIG COMPANYS!!!!!!
i like it
Clearly, the e-cigarette can help you quit smoking, but it has to assess potential health risks that may result from its use.

Add new comment