Vaping and Kids. FDA Says No. Are They Right?

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April 24, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013

vaping teens

Vape while you can boys, ’cause soon it may be illegal to vape while under age.

For the uninitiated, Vaping is all the craze. And not surprisingly, teen vaping is the fastest growing sector within this $2 billion (and growing) vaping industry.

And just what the Holy Vapor is Vaping you ask?

Vaping is a short-hand term for any device that allows its user to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine into one’s lungs. One of the more popular ways to get this vaping effect is through electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. But however one “vapes” they generally use some type of battery operated component with an atomizer which converts chemicals, including nicotine into an easily inhalable vapor. The last step in vaping is for the user to suck on a mouthpiece at the tip of the device or e-cig so that the vaporized nicotine can then be inhaled and absorbed directly.

Yum.

Well, maybe.

Turns out that what started as a bit of a novelty back in 2003 is now an undisputed “here to stay” market force. Today there are over 300 US vaping brands alone which now come in dozens of tempting flavors like apple, strawberry, mandarin, banana burst, coffee, bourbon and mint.

Vaping girl

Nothing like a morning vape of coffee with my, um, coffee.

Vaping advocates like actress Katherine Heigl say that not only does vaping taste great but it lasts longer than the average “real” cigarette. Recently, she showed up on the David Letterman show to vape with good ol’ toothy Dave himself and extolled the virtues of vaping. Just for the record, the average cigarette lasts for about 10-12 drags or extended puffs while the average e-cig lasts for a whopping 250-400 puffs.

Vaping and Katherine Heigl

Vaping helps me whenever I see Jennifer Lawrence and know that part could have been mine. All mine.

Modern technology, the hits just keep on coming.

So, vaping is apparently a tasty treat for the whole family. Vapers come in all shapes and sizes, are disposable, rechargeable or refillable cartridges and look ma, no ash-tray mouth after-taste.

And if we include Ms. Heigl in the count, there are an estimated 4.5 million vapers in the US with women being in the majority of users.

But is vaping safe?

Well, the short answer is it all depends.

If, by safe, you mean is vaping better for you than smoking tobacco-based products then the answer seems to be Yes.

If, by safe, you mean is vaping not at all bad for you, then the answer is No.

Vaping is still made of primarily nicotine, an addictive chemical found in actual cigarettes, along with chemicals like propylene glycol (found in anti-freeze and rubber condoms) and formaldehyde (an embalming fluid).

vaping anti-freeze

You can’t drink me but now you can inhale (at least some) me.

Now, just how bad vaping is for you now and long-term is a rather divisive and unsettled matter of debate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the American Cancer Society (ACS), and medical experts published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) have all weighed in on the subject.

And the verdict is…

Muddled at best.

Vaping guy

I suppose doing neither isn’t a viable option for many?

But one thing is clear or at least consensus among these experts.

Making it harder not easier for teens and kids to legally get their hands (and mouths) on e-cigarettes is probably the prudent route to go. At least for now until more is known about the long-term effects of vaping.

So, the FDA has proposed several rules that would impact the US Vaping industry. One would ban the product for anyone under age 18. Another would regulate where vending machines that sell e-cigarettes could be located (similar to how tobacco cigarette vending sales are regulated). And yet another proposed rule would make it mandatory for e-cigarette makers to have the ever-present (to real cigarettes) warning label about the addictive qualities of nicotine attached to each e-cigarette package.

But it’s what the FDA didn’t propose when it comes to vaping that has many health advocates and opponents of e-cigarette marketing very concerned.

On-line advertising and marketing targeted to teens and kids went unregulated in these newly proposed FDA rules. And those yummy flavors above, which research shows appeals most to teens, well, those aren’t being restricted or banned either. At least not at the moment.

vaping joe camel

Soon they will come after you my vaping friend. I’m still one cool camel, legal or not.

FDA Secretary Margaret Hamburg calls the new proposed rules “foundational” and potential first steps but didn’t make clear where those initial steps might lead.

We do know this. Vaping is projected to be a $75-100 billion industry in the next 10 years or so with giant companies like Lorillard (Blu-e cigarettes), NJOY and Logic leading the way.

That kind of cash tends to let its manufacturers inhale a whole lot of good will from our elected officials and rule-makers. There is already an aggressive domestic vaping campaign afoot to make it harder for European-based vaping producers to control the US market.

So, all signs seem to indicate that this vaping “craze” is more than just a lot of hot (electronic?) air.

Vaping is here to stay.

The question is, at what price to our health?

vaping turkish hookah

Long before they called it vaping I was here for you.

The FDA has taken the first, however timid, steps in regulating what will no doubt become a heated battle in the years to come.

So, for now, the ball or e-cigarette is largely in your hands.

To vape or not to vape?

Remember, your kids are watching, you know, when they aren’t vaping themselves.

What to do?

bulldog

Hey dawg, how about you all stop vaping long enough to feed me some real food?

Please see below the Tiger for more information on vaping and your health. You can also go to the FDA Government website link below for more information about the 75 day Notice and Comment period on the proposed rules mentioned in this blog.

bengal-tiger-why-matter_73410431.jpghttp://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm172906.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm

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66 thoughts on “Vaping and Kids. FDA Says No. Are They Right?

  1. Nicole J says:

    If cigarettes are still legal, then vaping can be too. As bad as it sounds, if a teenager wants to tape, they are are going to regardless of an age requirement. This may lower the number of users, but not enough to make a significant impact. Vaping may be healthier than cigarettes, but it is still not beneficial to a person’s health and yet this fact does not seem to be deterring people from making vaping part of their everyday routine. Bottom line is that people are going to do what they want to do regardless of the consequences. Being a nonsmoker, the benefit of the e-cigarettes is that they don’t produce harsh second hand smoke. Nothing ruins being outside more than standing downwind from someone whose smoking.

  2. Khari L says:

    I am not a fan of smoking period, but it all comes down to how healthy the person is using the electronic cigarette. The crazy thing is how some people develop cancer and die at an early age while others live on to be roughly eighty years old. The liquid nicotine is still nicotine and may or may not affect the person using it worse. It is a good alternative to use in places that do not permit cigarettes. It is less hazardous and avoids the health risk of other around. The positive side of using it is well cost effective to those who have to smoke. The vapor does not contain any tobacco and potential burns for using are limited as well; children should not be using them because it could turn into a potential gateway drug for the real thing. That is kind of why you can only purchase the electronic cigarette online. Either way, America is continuously finding ways to stimulate the human body quicker so as long as it is safe and no one is liable then products will continue to be produce.

  3. Erica Teague-Friend says:

    Unfortunately, just as there is advertising to warn people about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking and the measures to try to keep cigarettes from kids will be just the same for vaping. Vaping is the newest craze for kids so I am sure there are numerous teens who have picked up on this habit and store are allowing the teens to buy these products or they are getting someone else to get the supplies for them. Nothing is off limits anymore, kids will find a way to get alcohol, drugs or cigarettes even being underage which is extremely sad. Most kids are not concerned or fully aware of the effects on your body and mind; they are more focused a lot of times on fitting in or getting that temporary mind relief from smoking, drinking, vaping, inhaling.

  4. Chandria says:

    Based on the information I read on this website ‘http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm/printable’, I’m concerned that the long term 2nd hand effects from the vapor of e-cigarettes has not been thoroughly tested yet. The article does not deny the fact that nicotine exposure is experienced by those that inhale 2nd hand smoke from e-cigarettes. Also, the article indicates that there aren’t enough studies that have been compiled to prompt regulations yet.

    I was at a July 4th gathering yesterday and was next to a gentlemen that had the urge to smoke. He initially lit a regular cigarette. He saw the stares from the people in his immediate vicinity so he stepped a short distance away to exhale. A short time later, he pulled out a vapor cigarette and stated no one should smell this one and he proceeded to smoke the vapor cigarette. I couldn’t help but think that just because the smell is not as apparent to me, am I involuntarily being exposed to nicotine? There were kids in the immediate vicinity of this gentleman as well.

    I hope that federal regulations are applied to this new trend soon so that everyone can weigh their risks, including non-smokers.

  5. Fransiska says:

    Vaping can been seen as cool or sexy by teens. Do I think teens should be allowed to vape? No, I do not. I have never been a fan of smoking. I must admit that I am happy that I do not have to ingest the horrible smells of cigarette smoking. I hate people going into public and thinking that it’s ok to harm other people health just because of their bad habits. Teens are so easily influenced. No, humans are so easily influenced by sexy, cool, or actors. People wake up. Why kill yourself from such a bad habit.

  6. Nicole says:

    One interesting thing to add to this Vaping craze. I work for the DOD and we just received a policy letter regarding their nicotine rules/guidelines….”no smoking anywhere that is not a designated smoking area..” etc. However, the recently delivered letter suggests that e-cigs somehow do not fall in this category and can be utilized indoors. Hum, really? I prefer not.

  7. Colin M says:

    As a former smoker, I am very familiar with the trend of vaping. From my experiences, I’ve noticed that many people use this as a device to help them quit smoking cigarettes. I found that this did NOT work. Many teens who I have seen use vaporizers have began to use the vaping devices more than they would actual cigarettes and they will also do it in public schools. So, no. I do not feel as if teens should have their hands on these. It is a relatively new technology and we do not know enough about it yet to decide that its safe.

  8. alifox says:

    I work at a public community college and we just added vaping to our campus no smoking policy. As your post states, it is still unclear as to the health risks but I personally don’t like people vaping and blowing the vapor in my face. While it may smell better than smoke it is not any less grooms when someone walking in front of you blows it in your direction….yuck. I don’t understand how this could be considered ok for children when we are unsure of the health risks?

  9. Killer says:

    Vaping is safer cuz look one cigarite has a 60 lvl of nicotine and 1 whoe botte of e liquid has either 0 3 or 6 its your choise

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