Seven in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Teens see the ads on TV, in print, online and at retail outlets, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news release. “I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes.”
The report did not show a direct link between advertising and teen e-cigarette use, the article notes.
The CDC reported last year that e-cigarette use among teens tripled from 2013 to 2014. An estimated 13 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2014, compared with 9 percent who smoked traditional cigarettes.
Many e-cigarette ads use themes such as independence, rebellion and sex to promote the products, the CDC noted. It estimates spending on e-cigarette advertising increased to $115 million in 2014 from $6.4 million in 2011.
“E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use,” the CDC stated.
The agency recommended strategies to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes, including limiting tobacco product sales to facilities that never admit youth; restricting the number of stores that sell tobacco and how close they can be to schools; requiring that e-cigarettes be sold only through face-to-face transactions, not on the Internet; and requiring age verification to enter e-cigarette vendor’s websites, make purchases, and accept deliveries of e-cigarettes.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules prohibiting e-cigarette sales to minors. The agency is in the process of finalizing those rules.