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Surgeon General declares teen vaping an ‘epidemic’

Though+e-cigarettes+were+marketed+as+a+safer+alternative+to+traditional+tobacco+products%2C+they+still+contain+high+levels+of+nicotine.+
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Surgeon General declares teen vaping an ‘epidemic’

Though e-cigarettes were marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, they still contain high levels of nicotine.

Though e-cigarettes were marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, they still contain high levels of nicotine.

Business Insider

Though e-cigarettes were marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, they still contain high levels of nicotine.

Business Insider

Business Insider

Though e-cigarettes were marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, they still contain high levels of nicotine.

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams has declared youth vaping an epidemic and called out e-cigarette company Juul as part of the problem on Dec. 18.

The use of ‘vapes’ among teens nearly doubled in the last year, according to the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. Among the 45,000 students surveyed, one in five reported using e-cigarettes within the last month.  

Adams explained how nicotine found in e-cigarettes is addictive and can harmfully affect developing brains.

“Nicotine exposure during adolescence can impact learning, memory, and attention. Using nicotine in adolescence can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs,” Adams said in his health advisory.    

He explained how the other chemicals found in ‘vapes,’’, such as heavy metals and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, are also harmful to teens.

Adams called out Juul for using very high levels of nicotine in their vaping cartridges, or ‘pods.’ He found one ‘pod’ contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.

He also explained how Juul uses nicotine salt which allows people to easily inhale particularly high levels of nicotine while causing less irritation compared to traditional free-base nicotine found in other tobacco products.

“This is of particular concern for young people, because it could make it easier for them to initiate the use of nicotine through these products and also could make it easier to progress to regular e-cigarette use and nicotine dependence,” Adams said. “However, despite these risks, approximately two thirds of JUUL users aged 15-24 do not know that JUUL always contains nicotine.”

Juul, one of the largest e-cigarette companies,  experienced a 600% surge in sales during 2016-2017 which mirrored the rise of teen vaping. To stop teens from using their products, the company has stopped distributing fruit flavorings to retail stores and has taken other steps to make sure young people don’t buy the vapes online.

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Surgeon General declares teen vaping an ‘epidemic’