Electronic cigarette manufacturers have long promoted the idea that ecigarettes can help smokers quit. But new evidence proves that theory doesn’t hold true with teens. A new report from the CDC and the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products showed that ecigarette use tripled among middle and high school students between 2013 and 2014, now reaching more than 13% of the teen population–more than two million kids.
When I first reported this story for Mommy Greenest, the most recent available data from 2012 showed about 260,000 kids using eCigarettes. I can understand a relative increase–after all, vaping eCigarettes delivers nicotine without the smoke–but a nearly eight times increase over one year? That’s a serious jump.
But are they dangerous? eCigarettes don’t include the carcinogenic tar, arsenic, benzene and more of regular cigarettes, but many are formulated with chemicals like diethylene glycol, also found in antifreeze.
Studies have shown that kids who try eCigarettes are six times more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes than those who don’t.
We’re nearing the 10 year mark on eCigarette use in this country, and the $6 billion industry still isn’t regulated by the FDA. Manufacturers don’t have to include warning labels, although sales are now restricted to minors.
It’s time for a change. Hopefully this new data will inspire it.