Nearly one in 11 USA tweens and teens vape cannabis

Leslie Hanson
September 20, 2018

The trend was flagged in a 2016 report from the US surgeon general, which cited a 900 percent increase in e-cigarette use by high school students between 2011 to 2015. But The Washington Post reported that the data show a 75 percent spike in e-cigarette use among high school students - from just a year ago. "In short, there's no good news".

While applauding the FDA's move, Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis for the nonprofit Center on Addiction, said that if the agency had taken action when the trend was first identified, "we probably could have avoided the surge in the use of child-friendly, high-dose nicotine products that we're now seeing among kids as young as 12 years old".

E-cigarettes, vaporizers, and other noncombustible forms of tobacco consumption - referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) - have created a debate among members of the healthcare community.

E-cigarettes work by heating a pure liquid called e-juice - composed of flavorings, propylene glycol, glycerin and often nicotine - until it vaporizes.

"Although using cannabis through an e-cigarette or in edibles does not have the same risks of smoking it, there are still health risks", Trivers said by email. A study in the journal Pediatrics, for example, found five cancer-causing toxins in the urine of 16-year-olds who inhaled e-cigarette vapor.

The surgeon general's report warned that e-cigs were a possible vehicle for drugs like marijuana, but at the time, it was "unclear and understudied" how often that happened.

In addition, the FDA wants to be sure kids are aware that e-cigarettes can contain risky chemicals such as acrolein, a chemical that can cause irreversible lung damage; formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, and toxic metal particles like chromium, lead and nickel, which can be inhaled into the lungs.

Messages will appear on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram, and on posters in high schools, as well as on the FDA's "The Real Cost" campaign website. The effort will include digital, social media and school ads. "There are a variety of ways that cannabis or marijuana could be used in an e-cigarette, such as putting hash oils, waxes, and other THC liquids directly in the e-liquid section of an e-cigarette".

The FDA will place the ads in 10,000 school bathrooms, where officials say teens are vaping.

It was also shown that the 18 to 34-year-olds were more likely to vape regularly, occasionally, or at some point in the past compared to the other ages, showing that more than 50% of millennials surveyed had vaped at some point.

Juuls are smaller to most e-cigarettes while being a lot more sleek.

The FDA also issued warning letters to manufacturers of e-cigarettes requesting them to respond with "robust plans" for how they intend to address the widespread use of their products by minors. But the numbers "could simply reflect the fact that vaping cannabis is more popular now than it was in the past", said the author of the CT study, Meghan Morean, an assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College and an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Vaping is generally considered less unsafe than smoking, because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs.

"Vaping can deliver nicotine to your brain, reprogramming you to crave more and more", another reads. If that's the case they want to market to that age group.

The FDA has already been keeping close tabs on the company's advertising that featured young people in groups.

All three of those companies compete with Juul in the e-cigarette market - but, unlike Juul, they also sell regular cigarettes, meaning a government crackdown on e-cigarettes doesn't hurt as much.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article