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Electronic cigarettes, counterparts gaining popularity among youth

Electronic Cigarettes, commonly referred to as an e-cigarette, “vaping” or “juuling”, have made great gains in popularity in recent years; mostly due to the decline in traditional tobacco cigarette use. The increased use of electronic cigarettes, particularly among youth, is because electronic cigarettes are believed to be a safe alternative. However, according to a recent study published by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, “63 percent of current (e-cigarette) users, ages 15-24, did not know that the product contains nicotine.”  Additional research shows that only one “Juul pod” has the same equivalent amount of nicotine as a pack of tobacco cigarettes.

Big tobacco companies have become smarter with their marketing tactics, as electronic cigarettes are more appealing to youth because of their fruity, candy and generally sweet flavors.

Sleek, new and deceptive designs also contribute to the increase in youth consumption of the e-cigarette, particularly the Juul product, which allows youth to easily disguise the electronic cigarette as a USB flash drive that recharges the battery by plugging it into a USB port.

This type of nicotine consumption by our youth is putting our kids in danger of developing a nicotine addiction and dependence similar to that of traditional tobacco cigarettes. Please talk to your children about the dangers of electronic cigarette consumption.

For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreekids.org or www.truthinitiative.org

Shana Peterson is a health educator with the Jessamine County Health Department.