The Top 8 Things the Industry Does to Encourage Youth to Use E-Cigarettes
E-cigarette use among high school students increased by a shocking 78 percent in just one year from 2017 to 2018. This dramatic increase led to the federal government declaring youth e-cigarette use an epidemic during 2018.
Today, more than one in four high school students use e-cigarettes, which was a further 32 percent increase since 2018. It is the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. Maybe kids think e-cigarettes are cool, but the e-cigarette industry has been using a number of strategies, many previously used by the tobacco industry, to get kids to try their products:
The industry is using the same playbook to hook youth on e-cigarettes that they used to hook kids on cigarettes.*
One of the main reasons kids use e-cigarettes. Half of high school students use mint or menthol flavored e-cigarettes too.
All the ads!
Over 50 percent of youth have seen e-cigarette ads on TV, not to mention Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…*
But all the cool kids are doing it...
E-cigarette companies are using corporate sponsorships, like NASCAR, to improve their image.*
Eat your vegetables
E-cigarette companies are falsely advertising that their products are healthy, encouraging kids to try their product, which is not healthy.*
Money Money Money
Using discounts and coupons to get kids to try e-cigarettes, but in true 21st century fashion, they are reaching out directly through Twitter to get to the kids.*
Who is that?
Online vendors and sales easily allow youth to pose as adults to access e-cigarettes.
It’s hidden in plain sight…
E-cigarettes that look like flash drives (Juul and look-a-like products) are difficult for teachers and parents to notice. This allows use in school and even in class and is driving up youth e-cigarette use.
For more information on youth and e-cigarettes, check out the Surgeon General’s website on e-cigarette use among youth.
*Images courtesy of TrinketsAndTrash.org.
Did You Know?
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- More than 27 percent of high school students in the U.S. use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
- 7.2 percent of middle school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
- From 2017 to 2018, high school e-cigarette use increased by 78 percent and middle school e-cigarette use increased by close to 50 percent in the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
- Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 480,000 people per year.
- Secondhand smoke kills more than 41,000 people in the U.S. each year.
- 28 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws making virtually all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars smokefree.
- The District of Columbia has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.50 per pack.
- Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
- The average of all states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.78 per pack.
- Three states – Connecticut, Tennessee and West Virginia – spend no state dollars at all tobacco prevention programs.
- No state is funding its tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2019).
- Kentucky, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia increased their cigarette taxes in 2018.
- No state approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2018.
- 12 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon and South Carolina– offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
- Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide tobacco quitlines, a phone number for quit smoking phone counseling. The median amount states invest in quitlines is $2.21 per smoker in the state.
- Massachusetts passed legislation increasing its minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21 in 2018.
- Six states, the District of Columbia and over 350 communities have passed Tobacco 21 laws.
- Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $39.6 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year – more than 15.2 percent of total Medicaid spending.
- In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
- The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
- 43 states and the District of Columbia spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
- States spend less than three cents of every dollar of the $27.3 billion they get from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes to fight tobacco use.
- Each day, more than 2,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 300 kids become new, regular smokers.
- Each day, more than 1,900 kids try their first cigar. On average, more than 80 kids try their first cigar every hour in the United States – equaling about 712,000 every year.
- Smoking costs the U.S. economy over $332 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity every year.
- The five largest cigarette companies spent over $23 million dollars per day marketing their products in 2016.
- Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
- Smoking rates are over twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
- A 2013 study of California's tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
- A 2017 study found that states which expanded Medicaid had a 36 percent increase in the number of tobacco cessation medication prescriptions relative to the states that did not expand Medicaid. This means more quit attempts with proven cessation treatments are being made.
- In 2018, three states, Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, voted to expand their Medicaid coverage, providing more smokers with access to tobacco cessation treatments.
- Uninsured Americans smoke at a rate more than two times higher than people with private insurance.
- An estimated one-third of Americans living in public housing smoke.
- Persons with mental illness consume close to 40 percent of all cigarettes in the U.S.
- Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates among any racial/ethnic group.
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