After realizing how many teens and underage individuals use electronic cigarette products, the U.S. Government has signaled that it is prepared to take a tougher stance on this issue in order to stop this problem.
Many vaping companies offer fruit flavored items, which appeal to teenagers. The Food and Drug Administration told five major e-cigarette manufacturers (Juul, Altria Group Inc., Fontem Ventures B.V., and British American Tobacco) on September 12th to address youth use of their products in the next 60 days or the agency may require them to stop selling flavored tobacco pods. The FDA also stated that it would be sending warning letters to more than 1,300 retailers including 7-Eleven stores, Walgreens, Circle-K convenience stores, and Shell gas stations.
Although these cigarette-smoking alternatives don’t contain tobacco, they still contain nicotine, which is shown to be addictive and can have negative impacts on brain development. This move is part of a campaign to regulate and limit sales of these products to minors.
Probably the most popular vape product amongst teenagers is the Juul. It’s a very small, portable device that closely resembles a flash drive. There have been countless videos on social media of teens using Juuls in class as a sort of stunt. It even sparked a hashtag, #doit4juul, where students would post videos of themselves smoking the devices in front of teachers or something of the sort.
The Juul company is working together with the FDA to limit the usage of their product by underage people. Juul has stopped using models to advertise and has switched to former smokers to emphasize that it is a smoking-alternative item.
“Juul Labs said Wednesday it will invest $30 million over three years to fund independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement efforts. It will also support state and federal initiatives to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21.” (credits CNBC.com)
Now that action is being taken, hopefully results will come of it soon. Far too many young people have become addicted to nicotine early on in life and even may experience withdrawals if without a source of nicotine for a time.