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E-Cigarette Flavor Change Could Slash Use 70 Percent in Teens Saving Billions


E-Cigarette Flavor Change Could Slash Use 70 percent Saving Health System Billions


New research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs indicates that over 70 percent of young adults and teens would end their use of e-cigarettes if flavors were limited to tobacco.

Such a drop in e-cigarette use would have a significant economic impact, according to information from the Federal Drug Administration.

E-Cigarette Use

In October, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released information on the growing use of e-cigarettes among high schools and middle school students. The 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that more than one in four students use e-cigarettes daily.

Nationwide, 14.1 percent of high school students, or 2.14 million, smoke e-cigarettes. Whereas 3.3 percent of middle schoolers, or 330,000, use e-cigarettes.  Of that total, 27.6 percent say they are daily users. At the same time, about 40 percent admit to using e-cigarettes 20 or the previous 30 days.

Flavors Favored

Flavors were preferred by 85 percent of users. Accordingly, fruit flavors lead the way followed by candy and other sweet tastes. 

“In this sample of adolescents and young adults, it appears that non-tobacco flavors may be important for their interest in and continued use of e-cigarettes,” said senior study author Alayna P. Tackett, Ph.D., of the Center for Tobacco Research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

Healthcare Costs

A study by the University of California – Berkeley School Nursing reported that e-cigarette use costs the United States healthcare system $15 billion dollars a year. In addition, the study found that healthcare expenses for individual users was $2,024 higher than for people who do not use e-cigarettes or tobacco.  

The 2022 research focused on people over 18 years of age. However, one of the authors drew a line to the impact of teen use.

“We weren’t able to look at e-cigarette use among youth under 18 in this study,” said Wendy Max, PhD, director of the Institute for Health & Aging, at the time. “However, if more young people continue to take up vaping and keep on using this product when they become adults, the negative impacts on health care costs are likely to increase over time.”

Consequently, Max pointed out that e-cigarette use among high school students grew from 4.5 to 20.8 percent from 2013 to 2018.

How E-Cigarettes Work

Some smokers turned to e-cigarettes in search of a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. However, research is showing that e-cigarettes have their own health hazards.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid. That liquid is often called a juice. Once heated, the liquid becomes a vapor. As a result, that vapor can be inhaled and exhaled like cigarette smoke.

Just like cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapor contains nicotine. However, it also contains other harmful elements.

The American Lung Association reports that e-cigarettes contain propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin that are toxic to cells. In addition, a herbicide, acrolein, used as a weed killer, is found in e-cigarettes. It can cause COPD, asthma, and lung cancer.

Chemicals produced by e-cigarette vapor include acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. Notably, hey have all been linked to lung disease and heart disease.


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