E-cigarettes, sometimes referred to as vapes, cannot be purchased in the United States by anybody under the age of 18. However, it hasn’t prevented minors from using the product. In reality, 13.4% of eighth kids, 22.8% of tenth graders, and 31.4% of twelveth graders reported vaping in the previous year, according a 2021 poll from The National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The growth of youth vaping has caused severe public health concerns. The American Medical Association and other public health groups demanded that the American government take all flavored e-cigarettes off the market in a statement they released in 2019. And in June 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered retailers to remove Juul vaping pods and e-cigarettes off the stores (this order is now on hold until investigation into the brand’s safety is being done).
What you should know about e-cigarettes and the potential health hazards they provide is provided here.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
According to Sanjivan Kohli, M.D., a pulmonologist at Providence Mission Hospital in southern California, e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are battery-operated devices that contain a heated liquid that is then smoked like a traditional cigarette. Nicotine extracted from tobacco, flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other substances are present in the liquid itself. Inhaled aerosol is created when a liquid is heated. According to Dr. Kohli, many smokers mistakenly believe that converting to an e-cigarette or another kind of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), such a vape pen, is a healthier option since they inhale water vapor rather than tobacco smoke.
In fact, the FDA has not examined the components in e-cigarette aerosol. As a result, they cannot be suggested as being secure, says Dr. Kohli.
What Is in E-Cigarettes?
According to Dr. Kohli, the vaping liquid used in e-cigarettes contains nicotine, propylene glycol, an odorless liquid with a pleasant taste, as well as other tastes and compounds. E-cigarettes may resemble conventional cigarettes, pipes, pens, and cigars. They are available in a variety of sizes and forms.
Many e-cigarette tastes are created to appeal to young people. The tastes of e-cigarettes may vary from fruity to candy or dessert flavors, to chocolate, to mint, in accordance with a recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaping might appear harmless because of the “fun” flavors, but the research found that the ingredients in e-cigarettes are anything from safe. E-cigarettes can include heavy metals including nickel, tin, and lead, as well as cancer-causing substances in addition to nicotine. They also frequently contain ultrafine particles that may be absorbed deeply into the lungs and the chemical diacetyl, which has been related to lung illness.
What Is JUUL?
According to David Krol, M.D., medical director of the Connecticut Children’s Care Network in Hartford, Connecticut, JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that is particularly well-liked by young people. According to him, the battery-operated USB flash drive-shaped gadget has a same amount of nicotine in it as a pack of 20 cigarettes. Youth report getting JUUL through physical shops, friends and relatives, or online, despite the product’s minimum age limit of 18+ (and 21+ in certain regions).
According to Dr. Krol, JUUL Labs Inc. received marketing denial orders (MDOs) from the FDA in June 2022 for all of its products sold in the United States. These orders asked that the business stop marketing and selling the JUUL e-cigarette gadget and a number of its vaping pod items, stating that the brand is disproportionately responsible for the rise in underage vaping.
On July 5, the FDA temporarily suspended its order in order to perform further safety investigation on the product. Products from JUUL and other e-cigarette manufacturers that are unaffected by the order are still available for purchase while this evaluation is ongoing.