#parents | #teensvaping | How lung disease in teens is bringing the vape industry more scrutiny – Orange County Register

E-cigarette products are being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after 530 cases of lung injury (as of Sept. 19) reported from 38 states and 1 U.S. territory and 8 deaths have been reported.

It is illegal for people under the age of 21 in California to purchase e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, but teens are still getting them. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a recent report from the CDC found that e-cigarette use rose from 1.5% to 21% among high school students and from 0.6% to 5.3% among middle school students from 2011 to 2018.

A National Institutes of Health study found that about 6% of teens using e-cigarettes used them to digest THC from marijuana.

In September of 2009, California legislators passed a bill to ban the sales of e-cigs in the state but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.

If you are wondering why the FDA has not moved faster to call out America’s youth getting addicted to nicotine and inhaling oils into their lungs, consider this:

  • In 1828, two German chemists isolated nicotine from the tobacco plant and identified it as a poison. As awareness of the harmful effects of nicotine grew, 26 states banned its sale to minors by 1890.
  • It was more than 100 years later, in 1994, that the FDA officially recognized nicotine as a drug that produced dependency. The FDA did not have the power to regulate the production and advertisement of tobacco products until the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave it that power in 2009.
  • To date, the FDA has not yet approved any electronic nicotine-delivery system as safe and effective for use as a tobacco cessation aid.


Juul Labs, a popular brand of vaporizers, is quick to point out that it is not designed to get people off nicotine or to treat nicotine dependence. Juul is designed to give smokers an alternative delivery system and it’s so popular that Altria, which sells Marlboro and other tobacco brands, invested $13 billion in Juul for a 35% state in 2018.

One Juul device costs $35-$50 and the pods — which can have as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes — are about $4.Juul pods come in flavors such as watermelon, mango and mint. This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used an executive action to ban sales of flavored e-cigs. For 90 days, the only two flavors customers will be able to buy are tobacco and menthol. Michigan passed similar legislation last week.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey shows students reporting ever using e-cigarettes in 2016, the most commonly selected reasons for use were used by “friend or family member” (39%), availability of “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate” (31%), and the belief that “they are less harmful than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes” (17%). The least commonly selected reasons were “they are easier to get than other tobacco products, such as cigarettes” (5%), “they cost less than other tobacco products such as cigarettes” (3%), and “famous people on TV or in movies use them” (2%).

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