We have heard the facts about cigarette smoking. Although they are still legal and stores have become much stricter when it comes to selling to minors (I remember when we walked into a store and bought a pack for our parents when we were ten), now we need to worry about e-cigarettes, something that was seen as a healthier alternative to smoking.
CDC reports, “As of 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most common tobacco product used by young Americans.
Honestly, if cigarettes had tasted like candy while I was growing up, I know for a fact that more of my friends would have started smoking. In the ’80s and’ 90s you were outside, lighting your cigarette, coughing, trying to act like you liked it until you got addicted and felt like you needed that next cigarette to relax .
However, things have changed since those simple days of smelling dirty cigarettes. And I have teenagers who have lived in my house for over five years. Between the three of them, their friends, and all the shit they brought into my house, I had to find out about all the latest teen trends. This includes electronic cigarettes.
You would think I knew of an electronic smoking device when I saw one, but I’m still in the dark sometimes. They come in all shapes and sizes and are really hard to smell. There were a few times my kids told me it was something for their computer at first, and I believed them because why would you want to put something electronic in your mouth and smoke it?
Parenting a teenager is so exhausting.
You can vape anything now, including melatonin, so I had to be very clear with my three kids: help you sleep, my answer is no. There are many other ways to relax or catch ZZZs.
I literally can’t keep up with all the latest vaping devices, so if there’s anything I find that even looks like a smoking pen, you better have some answers and be able to show me how it works.
Whether you’re a parent of teenagers or not, you’ve probably heard of Juul, the e-cigarette brand that claims to be made for adult smokers. They quickly became popular among teenagers for their fruit flavors.
In early 2020, the FDA began taking action against places that distributed or sold e-cigarettes unless they were plain or menthol-flavored.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar told the FDA: “By prioritizing the enforcement of laws against the products most widely used by children, our action today is aimed at achieving the right balance of public health. maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential exit ramp for adults using combustible tobacco. while ensuring that these products do not constitute an access ramp to nicotine addiction for our young people. We will not stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will continue to monitor the situation and take further action as necessary. ”
On October 12, the FDA cleared Vuse Solo under the British American Tobacco brand, the first time the administration authorized the sale of an electronic cigarette. But that’s because it tastes like tobacco – nothing fun and fruity – which probably won’t be as appealing to younger people.
This was an effort by the FDA to end the appeal of e-cigarettes like Juul to so many teenagers. Now, like Vuse, Juul only sells plain or menthol flavored e-cigarettes – and guess what? They are no longer the first choice of teenagers for an e-cig.
There’s a new loophole in town and it’s called a Puff Bar which is a disposable e-cigarette whose flavors resemble fruit or candy.
The CDC Reports this last year, about 13.1% of middle and high school students “reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days (current use); over 80% of current users reported using flavored electronic cigarettes. “
Of these 13.1%, 85% of adolescents said they used flavored products. 26% of these users prefer Puff Bar as their e-cigarette of choice.
According to TIME, these Puff Bars flavors are always available for our teens as they are disposable and made with “lab-made nicotine” that cannot be regulated by the FDA at this time.
In July, the FDA sent letters to ten companies (including Puff Bar) asking them to withdraw their disposable, sweet tasting cigarettes “They don’t have the required pre-market authorization.”
In September, e-cigarette companies were required send proposals to the FDA to show that the health benefits of adults smoking their e-cigarettes were more beneficial than the harm these devices caused to our teens. Although the FDA has approved Vuse Solo, it has refused some of the flavored products submitted by other companies.
Hopefully this will end the crisis involving our teens and electronic cigarettes. The The FDA says, “The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use occur as quickly as our current epidemic of e-cigarette use by young people” and we can only hope, as parents, that their efforts to do so. terminate will be successful.
In the meantime, take it from a mom who has three teenagers: check their backpacks and bedrooms every now and then. These e-cigarettes are rampant, and it’s up to us to look after our children.