There has been an alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes (also known as vaping products) among teens and young people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students reported vaping in the past 30 days in 2019. This represents a 32% increase among high school students and a staggering 114% increase among middle school students since just last year, despite growing awareness about the dangers of vaping and increasing prevention efforts.
The lack of regulation and oversight of vaping products since coming to market over a decade ago has caused an astonishingly high number of middle and high school students to initiate use of a highly addictive product. The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 incorporates the following Center on Addiction policy recommendations, and is an important first step in addressing an unfolding public health crisis.
- A ban on all flavored vaping products, including mint and menthol. The vast majority of youth who report vaping started with flavored products
- Raising the legal age of sale of all vaping products to 21 years to delay initiation of use. Ninety-five percent of cases of nicotine addiction originate with tobacco use before age 21.
- Prohibit manufacturers from marketing and advertising vaping products to youth or in ways that might appeal to youth, including through social media channels.