The Top 8 Things the Industry Does to Encourage Youth to Use E-Cigarettes

E-cigarette use among high school students has increased by a shocking 135 percent from 2017 to 2019. This dramatic increase led to the federal government declaring youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in 2018.

Today, more than one in four high school students (27.5%) 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:

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.

1. Groundhog day!

The industry is using the same playbook to hook youth on e-cigarettes that they used to hook kids on cigarettes.*

2. Flavors

While the Trump Administration had pledged to “clear the market” of all flavored e-cigarettes, they’ve allowed thousands of flavors to stay on, including menthol-flavored pods. Flavors are one of the main reasons kids use e-cigarettes. More than 57% of high school students use mint or menthol flavored e-cigarettes too.

3. All the ads!

Over 69 percent of youth have reported seeing e-cigarette ads on TV, and a variety of other mediums…*

4. Corporate Sponsorships

Like the tobacco companies before them, e-cigarette companies are using corporate sponsorships, like auto racing, to improve their image.*

5. Eat your vegetables

E-cigarette companies are falsely advertising that their products are healthy, encouraging kids to try their product, which is not healthy.*

6. 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 E-mail to get to the kids.*

7. Who is that?

Online vendors and sales easily allow youth to pose as adults to access e-cigarettes.

8. 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.

Page last updated: May 13, 2020

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Toms River, NJ | Dec 07, 2020