Researchers say that the popularity of Juul and other vaping products could hook teenagers to smoke.
Only 5 percent of teenagers smoked cigarettes in 2017. Experts worry that electronic cigarettes will cause that rate to rise again. false images
There are certain milestones that humanity should be proud of, such as increasing the lifespan of people around the world and protecting against many preventable diseases.
But new research backed by data from the electronic cigarette industry suggests that we may be retreating at one of those milestones.
“The substantial reduction in smoking in the United States represents one of the most important public health advances of the last 50 years,” begins a new article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The authors of the article pointed to the most recent report in the results of the national survey on drug use that shows that rates of smoking among high school and high school students dropped from 28 percent in 1997 to 5 percent in 2017.
“These positive trends suggest that the powerful appeal of tobacco and nicotine has been reduced in the younger generations,” the document said.
But with electronic cigarettes capable of delivering nicotine at levels comparable to cigarettes, the newspaper’s authors fear that these products “have the potential to undo years of progress if a new generation of young people becomes addicted to nicotine.”
Although they are presented as a safer alternative to cigarettes because they contain less toxins and carcinogens, electronic cigarettes are not being used simply by current smokers trying to quit traditional cigarettes.
And that, the researchers say, is a big concern.
“Extensive research has shown the adverse effects of nicotine on the development of brains, and exposure to nicotine during adolescence can negatively affect cognitive function and development,” the document says.
Earlier this month, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, made a statement about the “epidemic” of cigarette use among youth.
“We need a regulatory process that requires that the product’s applications show that the marketing of the product is adequate to protect the health of the population in general,” said his statement. “And we need a regulatory process that keeps these same electronic cigarette products out of reach of young people.”
Of particular interest is the Juul brand, based in San Francisco, which operates under the “goal of improving the lives of the one billion adult smokers,” according to the product’s website.
While it has only been in the market for a few years, researchers say the product now accounts for more than 65 percent of all sales of electronic cigarettes, according to the newspaper.
It has become so popular that teens use the term “juuling” instead of vaping or smoking.
The Juul devices and their nicotine-filled pods contain nicotine salts derived from tobacco leaves, which according to experts allow the supply of nicotine at levels comparable to cigarettes.
This, along with the flavors that make the spray less harsh than other electronic cigarettes, “could lead to nicotine addiction in children and adolescents.”
The lead author of the article was Robin Koval, executive director of the Truth Initiative, the largest nonprofit public health organization in the United States “dedicated to the use of tobacco as a thing of the past.”
They are the organization that runs many of the vaping campaigns throughout the country.
A spokeswoman for the Truth Initiative said that young people are attracted to vaping products for many reasons, including the variety of flavors available, including mango or fresh mint.
The spokeswoman says this is particularly worrisome because the amount of nicotine in a standard Juul capsule is roughly equivalent to nicotine in a pack of cigarettes.
“Despite JUUL’s claim that they are” adult-only “, a group of followers has been created among young people, most of whom do not realize that they are inhaling nicotine when they are going,” said the spokeswoman. to Healthline.
To combat these trends, Koval and the other authors of the JAMA article call for stronger regulatory measures to keep youth smoking rates low.
This includes requiring verification of age for Internet sales, banning branded products and carefully reviewing how flavors are used in products, as well as where and when.