E-Cigarette use among teens has doubled, according to multiple surveys, and, the data is worrying the CDC,which plans to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as other tobacco products. Right now, there are almost no regulations concerning the battery-powered cigarettes, which has made the market appealing to younger buyers.
In 2012, 10% of high school students had reportedly used e-cigarettes up from just 4.7% in 2011, according to a survey completed by the National Youth Tobacco Survey. These numbers are alarming and the CDC has taken notice, CDC Director Tom Friedman stated:
The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.
Unlike with many of the adults that start using e-cigarettes, teenagers tend to use them for fun and have no prior history with nicotine products. This means that teenagers who begin using e-cigarettes could end up becoming addicted. For adults however, e-cigarettes can–and have–been a great tool with many crediting them with their ability to become nicotine-free.
The amazing thing about the survey result is that e-cigarette use among teens is now nearly half as much as regular cigarettes. Based on a 2007 study, 20% of high school students have used traditional cigarettes. Although, when all tobacco products are taken into account, that number rises to 34%.
There is no reason for a teen to use an e-cigarette but at the same time there is no getting around the fact that they are indeed safer than a regular cigarette. It doesn’t take much understanding of the topic to realize that a product with thousands of chemicals is more dangerous than one with no more than a few.
Nicotine is still an issue, especially in young people, and the nicotine content of e-cigarettes is sometimes even higher than regular cigarettes. So, as the CDC director stated, the upwards trend of teenagers using e-cigarettes is something to worry about.
What do you think? Are e-cigarettes as dangerous as regular cigarettes? And, should they be regulated the same way?