Surging Fad for E- Cigarettes Stimulate Rising Dependence on Tobacco among Teens, Finds Study

After losing eminence a few years ago, use of flavored tobacco products has made a major comeback, primarily among the high and middle school kids. This prevalence of flavored tobacco has gained traction against the backdrop of growing fad for e-cigarettes, as revealed by multiple studies.

The count of kids from high school making use of tobacco declined from around 69.4 percent in the year 2014 to nearly 57.7 percent in 2016, as per the revelation by a study in JAMA Pediatrics journal published on Monday by the American Medical Association. But in between 2016 and 2017, the number started climbing up to around 63.6 percent. As per experts, significant uptick in e-cigarette use has to be blamed, said experts.

“At present, there are no significant restrictions on sales as well as marketing of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products. This, in turn, has led to large-scale proliferation of flavored tobacco products amid the marketplace. Flavoring is evolving as one of the prominent and leading reasons for the surge in tobacco use among young demographic”, said Hongying Dai, Associate professor, College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“It has been reported that approximately 81 percent of users using e-cigarette, nearly 79 percent of the hookah users, around 74 percent of the cigar users, nearly 69 percent of the smokeless tobacco users and approx. 67 percent of the snus users accused wide-spread availability of appealing flavors for their augmented tobacco consumption in 2013 and 2014 among the teenage population aged between 12 to 17 years.

In order to slow down the prevalence of e-cigarette usage among youth, the FDA has sent out over 1,300 warning letters to multiple retailers selling these products to minors without legal rights.

“Flavored tobacco products could act as a trigger inducing smoking as majority of the adolescents are inclined toward experimentation with smoking driven by high curiosity and novelty.

The FDA has also largely cracked down on use of flavored tobacco in a latest proposal that incorporated a ban of use of menthol cigarettes as well as other flavored cigars. Some of the previous studies have also pointed to the fact that tobacco products that are flavored attract young millennials, who have a perception that they aren’t harmful.

“In the month of November 2018, proposal by the FDA quoted new restrictions on use of tobacco products that are flavored. I am anticipating that these latest restrictions will bring in some positive changes in terms of reduced usage of flavored tobacco among young demographic, thereby decreasing the potential dangers and repercussions”, added Dai.

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