Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Sonia Young
Malta Boys and Girls Club 

Vaping: The New Threat of Nicotine Addiction Among Youth

 

September 25, 2019



E-Cigarettes, vapes, mods, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems and JUULS have been a popular topic on the national news lately. Although deemed to be less harmful and supposed help people stop smoking regular cigarettes these devices are becoming a major health issue, and are threatening to addict the next generation of youth to nicotine.

A new study published in Tobacco Control showed that of the 15% of adult tobacco users who have tried the e-cigarette “JUUL”, only one-third used the product as a way to quit. 32% reported that they used them because family, friends or colleagues did. The number who tried the product to quit smoking is even lower for young adult smokers. Just 1 in 5 smokers between ages 18 and 24 first tried the product to quit combustible tobacco.

E-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved quit smoking aid. Only 4% of adults in Montana use e-cigarettes and most are “dual users,” meaning they continue to smoke cigarettes while using e-cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration has not regulated the amount of nicotine that e-cigarettes contain, which means that these levels are highly variable, with some reaching levels near combustible cigarettes. Nicotine is harmful to developing brains: younger users are more likely to become addicted, have more difficulty quitting and may be at higher risk for addiction to other substances in the future. The nicotine content in one JUUL pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

In 2017, the Center for Disease Control reported that 3.9% of adults in Montana used e-cigarettes. 22.5% of high school students in Montana used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the youth use rate was 13.2%

According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, E-cigarette use among young people, many of whom were not smokers in the first place, has skyrocketed in recent years, jumping 78% among high school students between 2017 and 2018 alone.

Big Tobacco companies are enticing youth to use e-cigarettes by marketing them with over 15,000 “candy-like” flavors, sleek design, “fun” accessories, social media influence, and celebrity endorsements.

E-cigarette advertising expenditures in the US have increased dramatically from $5.6 million in 2010 to $115.3 million in 2014. As of January 2016, Montana retailers were prohibited from selling or distributing alternative nicotine products, or e-cigarettes, to individuals under the age of 18 years, whether over the counter, by vending machine, or otherwise and are also required to purchase a license to sell these products. Several counties in Montana have local e-cigarette restrictions in place that prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in indoor public places.

Nicotine addiction can cause serious health problems. According to Tobacco Prevention specialist, Sonia Young, “The Montana Tobacco Quit Line has recently added a new program, “My Life. My Quit,” to help teens quit using tobacco products, including vaping. All teens have to do is call or text “Start My Quit” to 1-855-891-9989 or enroll online.” The My Life, My Quit Program is a free and confidential service for teens at http://www.mylifemyquit.com.”

 

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