There’s a new epidemic among youth: vaping. And the FDA is taking action with what they’re calling the “largest coordinated enforcement effort in its history” against more than 1,300 retailers and five manufacturers selling and marketing e-cigarettes to minors.
“We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a press release. And this is despite data that puts teen nicotine use at an all-time low.
The agency said it will halt e-cigarette sales if manufacturers can’t prove they are doing their part to keep the devices out of the hands of children and teens. The FDA is giving manufacturers 60 days to submit “robust” plans to prevent youth vaping. And they might even require e-cigarette manufacturers to stop producing flavored vape juice.
The five manufacturers under fire – JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic – make up more than 97 percent of the U.S. market for e-cigarettes, according to the FDA. The popular brand JUUL has a sleek and discreet design that’s causing increasing concern and frustration among teachers who are having difficulty catching students in the act. In one high school, teachers started noticing students disappearing for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The bathrooms become “little tent cities,” with kids bringing blankets and sitting on the sinks, the school principal told USA Today.
The Dangers of E-Cigarettes
Studies have shown that teenagers who use e-cigarettes may be at higher risk of smoking – and one JUUL pod is equal to 200 cigarette puffs.
What’s more, 25 percent of JUUL users, ages 15 to 24, don’t even consider “Juuling” the same thing as vaping. And they’re equally “clueless to what they’re inhaling,” according to Reader’s Digest. One Truth Initiative panel of 1,000 young adults showed that 37 percent didn’t realize they were inhaling nicotine.
It’s extremely worrisome, Robin Koval, CEO and President of the Truth Initiative, told Reader’s Digest. “Teens and young adults do not know that when they JUUL, they are inhaling an addictive substance.”
Addiction experts also warn that teens are filling the JUUL cartridges with liquid pot instead of nicotine – and since there’s no odor, users can smoke it anywhere without teachers or parents being the wiser. This oil form of THC is more addictive and can cause very serious side effects like psychosis and other mental health problems. According to Ray Estefania of FRS, “most kids that we are treating for cannabis use disorder are using the oil form of THC and many parents are clueless about the dangers of this substance and don’t realize what a potent form of marijuana this really is.” This is why it’s more important than ever for parents to educate themselves on “Juuling,” including what the devices look like and how they are used – and then talk to your kids about it.
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
At Family Recovery Specialists, we can help you or someone you love to change destructive behaviors, break the cycle of addiction and make lasting changes for lifelong health. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, call today: 305-595-7378.