E-Cigarettes also referred to as vaping, are battery operated devices that heat a liquid solution until it turns into an aerosol that is inhaled. The liquid typically contains nicotine. These devices can look like regular cigarettes, but they also can look like pens or toys making it difficult for to detect by adults if used by youth. There are over 7,700 flavored e-liquids available and many sweet and tasty flavors are appealing to the youth.
These vaping devices contain nicotine which is highly addictive neurotoxin. The amount of nicotine in a vape cartridges the same amount as smoking one entire pack. Smoke exhaled from the e-cigarette is thought to be harmless water vapor. but that is not true. Although the emissions from the vapor have less carcinogens then traditions cigarettes, the aerosol emissions have been found to have at least 10 chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. It also can damage the lungs, increase acid relfux, and makes the heart beat faster.
The flavored products are very enticing to children. According to Monitoring the Future study 40% of students in 8th and 12th grades said that they used them because of the flavors tasting good. Some of the devices look like USB drives or pens making them very easy to hide from adults and the sweet flavors makes the smell of vaping also easy to hide.
Not only is the e-cigarettes getting kids hooked on nicotine early, but it is also very dangerous to young children who accidentally come in contact with the e-liquids. Liquid nicotine is very dangerous if ingested or absorbed through skin. just 1/4 of a teaspoon liquid nicotine can be fatal to a 50 lb child. There as been a 145% increase in poison control calls involving e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine. (5)
FDA is proposing a ban on e-cigarette flavors. A move long overdue. Manufacturers constantly claim flavors aren't targeting kids but over 2 million youth in 2017 were using e-cigarettes. Since then a 2018 report shows a huge increase of teen use. An additional 1.5 million youth are using e-cigarettes. That is a 78% increase with high schoolers and 48% increase with middle schoolers. link to FDA citation